We think the foundation for long-term oral health is laid by taking care of children's baby teeth and teaching them about oral hygiene at a young age.
Your child develops and picks up new skills every day. As these years can lay the foundation for lifelong oral health, it is crucial to pay close attention to your toddler's baby teeth and smile at an early age. We'll talk about the importance of baby teeth and how you can support your child in keeping a bright smile today.
Why are baby teeth important?
Since baby teeth are not permanent and will eventually fall out, you might be wondering why they are still important. The first baby teeth, which are typically the bottom front teeth, begin to erupt around the age of six months. Around the age of three, your child should have ten top teeth and ten bottom teeth, as well as the last baby teeth in the back of the mouth and upper jaw.
Baby teeth perform a variety of tasks in our young patients' mouths. They are for conversing, eating, and lighting up the room with a beaming smile. In addition to being placeholders for adult teeth in the jaws, baby teeth in a child's mouth also do this.
Around age 6, your child should begin to lose their first baby tooth and adult teeth will start to emerge. The timing of this tooth loss is critical. If your child loses a baby tooth too early, contact your child's dentist about how the correct space can be kept in the mouth so the adult teeth will erupt normally.
How should I take care of baby teeth?
Now is the time to create a solid oral health care routine for your child. By combining at-home care with regular dental visits, you can help keep your child's smile healthy.
Brush twice per day (morning and night) to prevent cavities.
Wipe your baby's mouth with a wet pad or cloth to keep it clean. For children under three, use an ultra-soft toothbrush and a grain of toothpaste the size of a rice grain. Apply toothpaste in a pea-sized amount to children ages 3 and up.
Change to fluoridated toothpaste once your child can spit out all of the toothpaste after brushing (ask your dentist before switching). Together, brush your child's teeth until every tooth is perfectly clean.
Visit your child's dentist regularly
Before their child turns one year old, parents should arrange for their child to have their first dental checkup. By now, the first baby tooth ought to have erupted. We'll show you how to take care of your child's teeth at home, check his or her mouth for plaque and cavities, and let you know when the next tooth is due. Children should go to the dentist for a professional checkup and cleaning every six months.
Limit sugary or acidic treats
High levels of acid and sugar in soda and fruit juice can damage your child's baby teeth. Candy and other sweets should be avoided as well because they erode tooth enamel and raise your child's risk of developing cavities.
Look into dental sealants for your child
To a child's molar grooves and pits, sealants are applied as special coatings (back teeth). These help to keep the biting surfaces of teeth from decay. Your dentist might suggest sealants if your child has a high risk of developing cavities.
Check into fluoride treatment
Fluoride is a proactive measure to help protect your child's teeth from cavities.
Once all the baby teeth have erupted, start flossing. There are special flossers for kids.
This is general advice. Certain children may have special circumstances and may need to see the dentist more often for checkups or cleanings.