When a baby starts teething, it is not an easy time for parents. Babies are often restless, fussy, and in pain during this time. Most babies will develop teeth between 6 and 12 months of age. But it’s important for parents to understand the difference between baby teeth and adult teeth.
We created a list of tips and general knowledge that will help care for baby teeth so your child’s dental health can grow and develop with optimal health.
What Do You Need to Know About Baby Teeth and Dental Hygiene
- Start by adding fluoride to your child’s diet at 6 months of age. Fluoride helps prevent any tooth decay by hardening the enamel of the teeth. Fluoride is added to most tap water and giving your baby even a few ounces a day will suffice.
- Babies will let you know when their teething hurts, massaging sore gums, or providing something cold can help soothe the pain of your baby’s teeth. On the occasional rough night, you can use acetaminophen to help with the pain.
- 40% of children have cavities in their baby teeth. This is why it’s important to clean the gums twice a day.
- Try and brush your child’s tooth or teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Once you notice a tooth, you should brush it while using only a grain of rice size of fluoride toothpaste. Once your child is around 3 years old, the ADA recommends using a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste when brushing.
- Healthy baby teeth can grow in blue. If a healthy baby grows a tooth within an infant’s first 6 months, they can come in a different color! Once a tooth falls out, the adult tooth that takes its place should be white.
- Baby teeth can get stuck. Baby teeth can fuse to the surrounding bone, causing the tooth to sink into the nearby gum tissue. This is called ankylosis and can happen to adults as well, but it is 10 times more common in baby teeth. The baby teeth attach to the nearby bone, and this condition is not always obvious until children fail to lose their baby teeth.
- About 15% of children continue to suck their thumbs after the age of 5. Dentists explain that this habit can distort the shape of the jaw as well as cause permanent damage to the teeth.
- Make your baby’s first dentist appointment when the first tooth grows in. It’s important that all children see a pediatric dentist and establish a dentist by the age of one. A pediatric dentist will be able to make sure all teeth are developing normally and that there are no dental problems.
The Dentist Is One Call Away
If you noticed that your baby is starting to grow their first tooth and you’re looking to establish long-term dental care, Lowry Main Street Dental is accepting new patients! We specialize in children’s dentistry and offer block scheduling so it’s easier to bring the whole family in! Schedule your appointment today.