If you’re reading this, then you yourself have experienced growing baby teeth and shedding them for the ones you have now. When we are born, we already have all 20 of our primary teeth in our jaws. These begin to push out between 6 to 12 months of age. Every child is different, but normally the teeth begin coming out in the front of the mouth and work their way to the back. Most children will have a full set of all 20 teeth by the age of 3.
Baby teeth are very important for your child’s health and development. These teeth help your child to smile, speak, and most importantly the ability to chew food. They also hold space in the jaw for the permanent teeth to grow. If a baby tooth is lost to early, the permanent tooth will not be held in place and it can drift and the adult teeth around it may find it difficult to find room when they come in. This can cause crooked teeth, so it is very important to take good care of your child’s dental health.
After the first tooth comes in, and no later than the first birthday, it’s time for your child to have their first visit to the dentist. Apart from checking for cavities and any dental issues, your dentist will show you how to care for their teeth and how to handle habits like thumb sucking.
Here are some helpful tips for caring for your child’s teeth:
- Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth the first few days after birth with a clean moist gauze or washcloth. As soon as the first tooth appears, decay can begin to occur. So a dental visit is very important.
- For children under the age of 3, begin brushing their teeth as soon as the first tooth comes in with a fluoride toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. It is a good habit to brush in the morning and the evening (twice a day).
- For children 3 to 6 years old, use fluoride toothpaste the size of a pea. Supervise them and remind them not to swallow the toothpaste.
- Until you are comfortable that your child can brush their teeth on their own, keep using a child size toothbrush and a pea size amount of toothpaste. As soon as two teeth begin to touch, begin flossing daily.
If your baby just got their first tooth or it’s almost their first birthday, we would love to meet them! Your child’s dental health is important, so let us help you give them decades of smiles and health! Call us today to set up an appointment at 540-486-5111. We look forward to seeing those baby smiles.