Parents are oftentimes excited when their baby starts teething, it means a new stage of life! But almost immediately, parents realize that their baby is very restless and irritated from the pain that they’re feeling. Most babies develop teeth between 6 and 12 months of age and it’s important for parents to understand the difference between baby teeth and adult teeth and that they treat them differently.
We created a list of tips and general knowledge that will help care for baby teeth so your child’s teeth can grow and develop with optimal health.
What Do You Need to Know About Baby Teeth and Dental Hygiene?
- Baby teeth need fluoride just like adult teeth. To start, try adding fluoride to your child’s diet at 6 months of age. Fluoride helps prevent any tooth decay by hardening the enamel of the teeth. Fluoride is added to most tap water and giving your baby even a few ounces a day will have a positive effect.
- Babies will communicate with you when their teeth hurt. Try massaging any sore gums, or providing something cold this can help soothe the pain of your baby’s teeth. On the occasional rough night, you can use acetaminophen to help with the pain.
- 40% of children have cavities in their baby teeth. Cleaning your child’s teeth and gums will help prevent this!
- Once you notice a tooth, try brushing it twice a day with a grain of rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. When your child is 3 years old, the ADA recommends using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothbrush when brushing.
- It’s important to know that baby teeth oftentimes get stuck. Baby teeth can fuse to the surrounding bone, causing the tooth to sink into the nearby gum tissue. This is called ankylosis and can happen to adults as well, but it is 10 times more common in baby teeth. This condition is not always obvious until children fail to lose their baby teeth.
- Around 15% of children suck their thumbs past the age of 5. Dentists explain that this habit can distort the shape of the jaw as well as cause permanent damage to the teeth.
- Sometimes healthy baby teeth can grow in blue. If a healthy baby has teeth grow in that’s blue within the first 6 months, know that it’s normal! Once a tooth falls out, the adult tooth that takes its place should be white.
- Make your baby’s first dentist appointment when their first tooth grows in. All children should see a pediatric dentist and establish a dentist by the age of one. A pediatric dentist will be able to make sure all teeth are developing normally and that there are no dental problems.
The Dentist Is One Call Away
If your baby is teething and you want to establish long-term dental care. East Harmony Dental is now accepting new patients, including babies! We specialize in children’s dentistry and offer block scheduling to eliminate multiple trips to the dentist! Schedule your appointment today.