Baby teeth are at major risk for decay as soon as they appear. For most children, baby teeth start erupting at the age of 6 months. A common term for tooth decay in toddlers and infants is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. Usually, this condition afflicts the child’s upper front teeth. However, any teeth can be afflicted with Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. Sometimes, toddlers and infants end up with teeth that are so decayed the teeth must be removed.
Fortunately, tooth decay is a preventable condition. Once your child turns 3-years-old, chances are they will have an entire set of 20 baby teeth. Your child’s jaws will grow over time to create room for the permanent teeth.
Children Dental Health Tips
- You can start cleaning your child’s mouth shortly after birth with a washcloth or clean, moist gauze pad. Use the washcloth or gauze pad to wipe the gums. Start tooth brushing as soon as your child’s first tooth appears. Usually, a child’s front four tooth will appear at about six months of age. However, some children get their first tooth after 12 to 14 months of age.
- Until you are certain that your child will be able brush their teeth on their own, you should use an appropriately-sized toothbrush to brush your child’s teeth in the morning and at night. Use a pea-sized amount of toothbrush with fluoride. As soon as your child has at least two touching teeth, you should start to floss your child’s teeth.
- If your child is younger than 3-years-old, you should use an amount of fluoride toothpaste that is no bigger than a smear or a rice grain. Brush your child’s teeth as directed by the physician or dentist. Be sure to remind your child not to swallow the fluoride toothpaste. Don’t have your child rinse their mouth after brushing their teeth because the extra fluoride will help strengthen the tooth enamel.
Teething is one of the first milestones of life. At birth, newborns have no visible teeth. However, baby teeth start to erupt within six months after birth. Within a few years, your child will have a set of 20 baby teeth. As your child’s baby teeth start to erupt, they may become irritable, fussy, and sleepless. They may also drool significantly and lose their appetite. These are all normal symptoms of teething for babies. Symptoms that are not normal include fever, diarrhea, and rashes. Call your physician if your child begins to experience these symptoms while teething.
First Dental Visit
Once your child gets their first tooth, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. According to the ADA, the first dental visit should occur within six months after your child’s first tooth erupts. The first dental visit should occur before your child’s first birthday. Don’t wait until a dental emergency or when your child starts school to take them to the dentist. It is never to early to help your child start developing healthy oral habits.
As long as you follow the tips discussed above, your child will likely have great oral hygiene throughout their childhood and into adulthood. For more information about children’s dental health, don’t hesitate to contact rjacobdmd.com!