A baby’s teeth start to appear between the ages of 6 months and one year. But caring for them begins the day they are born. While each child is different, usually the first teeth to come in are the front teeth on the top and bottom of their mouth. Most kids have a full set of 20 primary teeth, also known as baby teeth, by the time they are three years old.
The time during which a child’s baby teeth appear is commonly referred to as teething. Many babies experience sore or tender gums. You can help ease your child’s discomfort by gently rubbing their gums with a clean finger, a wet gauze pad, or a small, cool spoon. There are also teething rings available that a child can gnaw on to relieve discomfort.
Even though baby teeth aren’t permanent, it is incredibly important to take good care of them.
The Importance of Baby Teeth
A child’s baby teeth are important for their health and development. Without them, a child wouldn’t be able to properly chew, speak, or even smile.
Baby teeth are also responsible for holding space in the jaw bone for the permanent teeth that are growing underneath the gums. If a baby tooth isn’t cared for properly and lost too early, the permanent teeth can shift, causing them to become crooked overcrowded.
It’s important to take proper care of baby teeth and develop good oral hygiene habits early on, so you can better protect your child’s teeth for the future.
How to Care for Your Child’s Teeth
Caring for your child’s teeth begins during the first few days after they are born. You should wipe their gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth at least twice a day or after feedings.
As soon as their first tooth appears, they are at risk for tooth decay. For children 3-years-old and younger, parents should use a fluoride toothpaste in the amount of a grain of rice on a toothbrush specifically designed for children. Their teeth should be brushed twice a day and as soon as two teeth touch, you should floss their teeth at least once a day.
For children ages 3 to 6, parents should use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to thoroughly brush their child’s teeth twice a day. Be sure to help them brush properly, to ensure they are thoroughly cleaning all of their teeth. Parents should expect to help their children brush their teeth until they are old enough to effectively do so on their own.
Child’s First Dentist Appointment
As for when you should take your child to the dentist, at Houston Uptown Dentists, we like to see babies for their first appointment within six months of their first tooth coming in. If you have already missed this deadline, don’t panic. The sooner we can see your child, the better.
Call our office today at 832-463-1021 to schedule an appointment. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff looks forward to working with you and your family!