Baby teeth are small, but they’re incredibly important. In addition to acting as place holders for your child’s permanent teeth, they assist your child in chewing and speaking clearly. At Parrish Children’s Dentistry in Parrish, Florida, expert dentist Patricia Schnur, DMD, provides comprehensive care for baby teeth, including oral exams and cleanings, dental sealants, and if necessary, extractions. To schedule an appointment for your child, call the office and speak with a friendly staff member, or book a consultation online today.
Baby teeth, or primary teeth, are a group of 20 teeth that break through your child’s gum line sometime between the age of six months and one year. Most children have a full set of baby teeth by the time they are three years old.
As baby teeth start coming in, it’s normal for your infant to experience tender or sore gums. You can ease your baby’s discomfort by gently rubbing a cool spoon or clean finger along their gums. You might also want to get your child a teething ring to chew on.
Once your child’s baby teeth start coming in, it’s important to take good care of them. Regular cleaning and preventive maintenance can prevent cavities and other oral health problems from developing. Dr. Schnur recommends gently brushing your baby’s teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush twice each day.
At first, just wet the toothbrush with water. As more teeth come in, you can use a tiny bit of toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. When your child turns three, you can start using fluoride toothpaste. Gently brush around each of your child’s teeth and clean their whole mouth, from front to back.
Each time you brush your child’s teeth, keep an eye out for potential signs of decay. Telltale signs of a cavity include brown or white spots or pits in the teeth. If you notice any of these issues, make an appointment with Dr. Schnur right away.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that infants visit the dentist for their first oral exam at the age of one, or whenever their first tooth breaks through the gum line, whichever comes first.
During your baby’s first appointment, Dr. Schnur can provide advice on a variety of topics, including:
She can also give you tips and insights on preventing cavities, gum disease, and other common oral health problems.
There’s no way to prevent cavities entirely, but you can significantly lower your child’s risk by avoiding sugary drinks like fruit juices and soda. Only fill your child’s bottle with formula, breast milk, or water.
If you send your baby to nap with a sippy cup or bottle, only fill it with water. You should also avoid putting anything sweet, like sugar or honey, on your baby’s pacifier.
If your child’s baby teeth are starting to come in, schedule an appointment at Parrish Children’s Dentistry. Call the office and speak with a friendly team member, or book a consultation online today.