Child Dental Hygiene
Your child’s first tooth will come in when they are around 6 months old, and all of their teeth should emerge by the time they are 3 years old. Your child’s baby teeth will last for about 3 years, and then will start to fall out at around age 6. They will have a complete set of adult teeth between ages 12 and 18. As soon as their first tooth emerges, you can begin using a toothbrush to keep the teeth clean. Use a small, soft bristled brush that has a large handle that is easy for you to use. Only use a small amount of non-fluorinated toothpaste until your child is 3 years old, and then use a pea-sized amount of fluorinated toothpaste.
We call the process of children’s first set of teeth coming in “teething,” and unfortunately it is not always a very comfortable time for your baby. Having teeth erupt through their gums for the first time can cause some swelling and tenderness, and your baby might cry and fuss a little more than usual when a tooth is preparing to emerge. You can relieve some of their discomfort by giving them a cool and clean teething ring. If you would like recommendations for teething rings we’re happy to provide them. You can also gently rub their gums with a clean finger to provide some relief.
Cavities are a concern for people at any age, but it is especially important to watch out for cavities in your child while they are bottle-feeding. Never put drinks with sugar, like juices, into their bottle. Sugary drinks should be limited for anyone at any age to protect oral health, but it is especially important to limit these drinks when babies are sucking on bottles. The sugar from these drinks can settle on your baby’s teeth, and can attract bacteria that like to feed on sugar. The bacteria will attack your baby’s teeth, which leads to what we call “baby bottle tooth decay.” Only use milk, formula, or water in your baby’s bottles.
Maintaining good oral hygiene right from the beginning will help ensure that your child has a healthy smile for life. At Hull and Appel Family Dentistry, we are happy to be a part of keeping your precious child’s smile bright and beautiful.
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