It’s an exciting time for parents when their baby gets their first tooth. 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. Baby teeth are tiny and delicate and need to be cared for differently than 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 adding fluoride to your child’s diet at 6 months of age. Fluoride will help prevent any tooth decay by hardening the enamel of teeth. Fluoride is often added to tap water and giving your baby just a few ounces a day will suffice.
- Massaging sore gums or providing something cold can help soothe the pain of your baby’s teeth. On the occasional rough night, it’s okay to also use acetaminophen.
- Brush your child’s teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Once you notice a tooth, you should be brushing it twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste that is only the size of a grain of rice. Once your child is around 3 years old, the ADA recommends using a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste when brushing.
- 40% of children have cavities in their baby teeth. This is why it’s important to clean the gums twice a day.
- Healthy baby teeth grow in blue. If a healthy baby grows a tooth within an infant’s first 6 months, they can come in a slightly different color. Once the tooth falls out, the adult tooth that takes its place should be white.
- It’s common for baby teeth to get stuck. Baby teeth can fuse to the surrounding bone, causing the tooth to sink into the nearby gum tissue. This is called ankylosis. This can also 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.
- Around 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 your baby just started growing their first tooth and you’re looking to establish long-term dental care, My Dentist is currently accepting new patients. We specialize in children’s dentistry and offer block scheduling so you can bring in the whole family at once! Schedule your appointment online today.