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What Parents Should Know About Baby Teeth

 In Family Dentistry

For any parent one of the greatest joys is experiencing all of your child’s developmental milestones.  One of these milestones is when your baby’s first tooth comes in. And, when it comes to baby teeth, you need to make sure that everything is on track, whether they’re just coming in or they start falling out.  Sure, these are moments worth celebrating, but they’re also moments that you should educate yourself for so that you can help keep everything healthy and everyone happy.

So, let’s take a look at some important things that you should know about your baby’s dental health:

  • Tooth Eruption – Your child’s teeth will start to come in around 6 months of age and will continue to come in until about two years of age.  It’s important to understand that as soon as their first teeth appear, you need to start good oral hygiene practices, as decay can start immediately if not properly cared for.  So, start brushing those baby teeth with a tiny amount of toothpaste as soon as you can to prevent early decay. Eventually, these teeth will start falling out around the age of six and will be replaced with permanent teeth.  But, early care and good oral health habits must start young in order to maintain optimum health.
  • Teething – Once your child starts teething, they can experience pain.  You may notice an increased desire to mouth or chew on objects, excess drooling, sore gums and even crabby behavior due to the discomfort.  We understand that it is heartbreaking knowing that your child is uncomfortable, but fortunately, there are a few ways you can help with infant teething.  For instance, you can massage your child’s gums with your fingers, or you can give them something cool or cold to chew and suck on (e.g. a teething ring or a cold washcloth).  You might also consult with your doctor about possible over-the-counter pain management solutions.
  • Types of Teeth – Babies are born with 20 primary teeth, and the first to erupt are most often the central incisors.  These are your baby’s front two teeth on the top and on the bottom. After those come in, the teeth will start to fill in towards the back, followed by the molars.  You can usually expect to see your child’s lateral incisors come in soon after the eruption of the first front teeth, then the canine teeth a few months later. Finally, around a year to two years, your child’s first and second molars will begin to come in.
  • Dentist Visits – Depending on which comes first, your child’s first tooth eruption or their first birthday, you should schedule their first dentist visit within six months of their first tooth eruption.  This early exposure will help set your child up for good dental hygiene habits. Your dentist can help teach you and your child proper brushing techniques, and your dentist will be able to address any questions or concerns you might have about your child’s oral care, including thumb sucking, pacifiers, teething, possible mouth or tooth trauma, etc.  

It’s important to start healthy dental practices as early as possible so that your child is raised with the mindset of maintaining overall health and wellness.  So, when your baby is ready for their first visit, call our offices, and we’ll set you and your child up for dental success.

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