If there’s drool constantly hanging from your baby’s chin and she is suddenly wanting to put everything in her mouth, her first tooth is probably on its way.
While you might be focused on easing her gum pain and keeping her as comfortable as possible while she’s teething, it’s also important to start thinking about taking care of those little pearls.
You may think that Primary (baby) teeth are not important because they will eventually come out, but these teeth actually play an important role in your child’s dental health.
- Children begin getting their first tooth between the age of 6 months and 1 year.
- Children should have their first dental appointment after they get their first tooth or by the age of 1.
- Around the age of 3, your child should have all of his/her baby teeth in. It is important to note that some children get their baby teeth very early and some are delayed.
- Do not worry if your child’s teeth do not come in exactly when they are supposed to, but be sure to talk with their dentist about your concerns.
- When a child gets to age 5 or 6, their primary teeth start falling out, one by one – all 20 of them.
Your Baby’s Oral Health
Once your child’s teeth come in, it is important for you, as the parent, to keep them clean and healthy. What happens if they don’t brush their teeth? Baby teeth can get cavities, just like adult teeth. Poor dental hygiene may lead to difficulty when chewing and cause poor food digestion. Because of this, it could become difficult to concentrate in school or cause difficulties in speaking and pronunciation.
Caring for Your Baby’s Oral Health During Teething
Teething is a normal part of infant development, but it can be very uncomfortable for your little one.
Common Symptoms of Teething:
- excessive drooling
- swollen gums
- refusing bottles
One way to help ease the discomfort of teething is to take a clean finger and gently rub your baby’s gum line. Another is to cool teething rings in the refrigerator, allowing them to chill before giving them your baby.
Effects of Poor Oral Hygiene
Failure to get teeth cleaned for a day or two may not have severe effects; however, if it goes too long between brushing bad breath, tarter, and plaque buildup can occur. Food particles can find their way in between teeth and stay on the surface. These particles are broken down by the bacteria naturally found in the mouth
Proper brushing and flossing will prevent cavities and save your child from having dental work done, but what if your baby already has decay or a cavity? Read more.
Even Babies Need to Brush and Floss
Did you know that one in three children don’t brush their teeth often enough? Just like adults, children should brush their teeth for two minutes twice per day and floss if their teeth are touching. As a parent, it is important that you watch your child brush their teeth to make sure they do a good job, sometimes kids need a little help.
Tips to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth
Most kids do not seem to enjoy brushing their teeth. It is, however, not so shocking because some adults dislike it as well.
So how do you get your little ones to do it? Below are some of the tips you can use.
1. Brush Your Teeth at the Same Time
It is a perfect opportunity to lead by example. Let your child watch you brush your teeth as you convince them to do the same. They are more likely to agree to it this way as opposed to when you ask them to do it like a daily chore.
2. Make It Fun
Here are a few exciting ways of making these two minutes as enjoyable as possible:
- You can consider finding a song and make it your tooth brushing song. Learn it and sing along while at it.
- Taking turns also sounds like a great idea. Compete brushing each others’ teeth once in a while and use the other days to practice for the challenge by brushing your teeth. Every kid likes to win.
- Make a big deal out of shopping for toothbrushes. Let your child pick their brush. Find a range of exciting toothbrushes and let them choose from those. They will look forward to using a toothbrush of their favorite cartoon character. Brushing should not be a problem from now on.
3. Let Them Know the Benefits
Tell them stories of what happens to kids who don’t brush their teeth. Refer to those characters every time you struggle into getting them to cleaning their teeth. It’s a long shot, but it should do the trick.
You can also talk to them about germs. Yes, kids find germs fascinating so, giving them details about bacteria found on their teeth before brushing will interest them. Your goal is to have kids with proper oral hygiene. Any trick is a good trick.
4. Make It Part of Your Morning and Evening Routine
Include brushing part of your routine to ensure you don’t leave it out. Consistency will make your aim of making it a habit more attainable. Here is the proper procedure to go about brushing.
- Brush the front surface first. The front and the two opposite sides using up and down circular motions.
- Proceed to the chewing surface. Brush using straight back and forth motions.
- Brush the back of the teeth using up and down motions.
- Floss their teeth when necessary.
Celebrate a job well done with your kiddo after brushing. Make this a habit.
Baby Teeth Do More than CHEW
Baby teeth not only allow your child to chew food, speak and smile but they also hold the space for the permanent teeth to come in. Good oral hygiene will ensure that your child does not have to lose a baby tooth too early. During infancy, poor oral health can have longstanding effects on children through adolescence, even as an adult.
Schedule a Dental Exam for Baby TOO!
It is important that your child sees their dentist every 6 months to ensure there are no cavities. Remember, if left untreated, dental decay can harm the child’s permanent teeth, below the gums. But, we also to make sure that their permanent teeth are coming in properly. Consistent evaluation of the baby teeth can help us prevent problems with permanent teeth.
Important Things to Remember about Your Child’s Baby Teeth
- They are just as important as permanent teeth
- Good oral hygiene is crucial
- Get your child to the dentist every 6 months for evaluation
- Ask your dentist about any concerns you may have with your child’s teeth
Trust us with your child’s teeth.
Our dental team is dedicated to providing your children with the top-notch care they need, even infants. As you learn the ins and outs of caring for your child’s teeth, we’re here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or learn more about our Lee’s Summit office!
Work with Dr. Luff and her team to find the most effective solution for your smile! We are always accepting new patients in the Lee’s Summit, MO and surrounding area who are ready to improve the health of their teeth, their confidence and smile! Please call Luff Dental at (816) 875-3391 to schedule your appointment.