A child’s first tooth is an exciting milestone for parents and babies alike. The wait can sometimes be months or even up to a year. No one can predict for certain when they will come in, but once they do everyone is happy, and a bit relieved. All those sleepless nights, drooling, and tears have resulted in teeth! But once those teeth come in a parent now has the due diligence of starting good oral hygiene with the baby. There can be a common misconception that just because they are baby teeth, they don’t require much care, but that is far from true. Read on to learn more about good oral care, and where to begin.
Healthy Tip Tuesday is brought to you in partnership with Trinity Health Systems.
When should I start my baby’s dental care?
Good dental care begins before your baby’s first tooth appears. Run a clean, damp washcloth over the gums daily to clear away harmful bacteria.
Wiping and rinsing the mouth out can help keep harmful bacteria under control. It also gets the baby accustomed to an object in his mouth and in the habit of ‘brushing’ his teeth every morning and evening.”
When should my baby start using fluoride toothpaste?
You should use fluoride toothpaste as soon as your baby’s teeth pop through. Before the age of 3, dispense fluoride toothpaste about the size of a rice grain onto the toothbrush. Then, until about age 6, use a pea-sized amount.
This way, babies get the benefit of using fluoride toothpaste, but the amount is age appropriate in case of ingestion. Working with the child to spit out the toothpaste during brushing is very important no matter how much fluoride toothpaste they have in their mouth.
An age-appropriate soft toothbrush is best for your baby’s delicate gums. If the brush is too big, it’ll be difficult to maneuver in your baby’s small mouth.
Should baby teeth cavities get filled?
Yes, even though children lose their baby teeth, they are still in their mouths for several years. Any unfilled cavities can lead to gum issues, pain, and potentially worse problems down the road.
When will adult teeth start to come in?
Look for a child to lose their baby teeth around age 5-6 years old, up until age 9-10 years old. It is a long process.