Did you know that your baby was born with 20 teeth waiting to erupt below their gum line? Baby teeth usually start to come through between the ages of six months and one year old. By age three, most kids will have a full set.
As a new parent, it’s just one more important step in baby’s development. Here are some of the most common questions and issues faced by new parents when it comes to their baby’s teeth.
What’s the deal with teething?
Teething can be confusing for both baby and parent. It cause a range of signs and symptoms – some of which you may not expect. These include:
• Extra fussy behaviour and irritability;
• Trouble sleeping;
• Drooling more than usual;
If your baby is experiencing any of the last three—especially diarrhea or fever—then please see your doctor. Once your little ones have teeth, there are some new issues to keep in mind.
How soon should I start brushing?
• It’s never too soon to start good oral hygiene habits with your little one. The moment a tooth erupts from the gums, there is the potential for decay.
• Begin brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, and a baby soft toothbrush, right away. For children up to age two, it’s recommended to use a bit of toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice. For ages 2 to 6, you can go up to a pea-sized drop.
• Keep brushing their teeth twice a day until you are confident you can trust your child to do a good job on their own. There is child-friendly dental floss for cleaning between teeth—once they have two that touch, that is!
• Small children lack the fine motor skills necessary to do a really good job. As a good rule of thumb, you will probably have to help your children brush their teeth until about age six.
• Baby’s first dental appointment can happen anytime after that first tooth appears, but definitely by their first birthday.
Food & Drink
• Small children learn about their world, in part, by putting objects in their mouths. Be vigilant just what that includes.
• Avoid using a bottle at bedtime for fussy babies, as this can lead to baby bottle tooth decay.
• Remember that the damage that sugars do to your child’s teeth will depend on how much exposure there is, and whether the sugar stays in the mouth. Constant snacking means there is never a time when your child’s teeth are not exposed to potential decay.
• When it comes to beverages, make water your first choice between feedings and if baby is thirsty at any given time.
• Remember that you can pass decay-causing bacteria to your child’s mouth too, so it’s best to avoid using the same fork or other eating utensils, and keep baby’s pacifier clean.
Being a good role model is important when it comes to dental hygiene. If your children see you brushing and flossing regularly, they will definitely want to imitate your good habits.
If you’re looking for a well-regarded and highly skilled dentist in the Brampton area, make an appointment with Dr. Robert Axelrad by calling (905)-791-3867. Visit our website to learn more about our dental services.