How do i care for my baby’s teeth?
Your newborn’s teeth are forming and soon they will begin to break through the gum surface. So how do you know if you are providing the proper care for their primary teeth?
Firstly, congratulations on your new addition! As you begin this journey, there will be many exciting first milestones that you do not want to miss out on, including your child’s first visit to the dentist. Gone are the days of dreadful dental visits; now kids beg their parents to bring them back! Can you believe it?
We want you to be fully informed about what is happening in your child’s mouth during this developmental time, as well as how to properly care for these primary teeth. We have put together the following information.
The Very Important Primary Teeth
The most common question we get asked regarding primary teeth is, “Why are primary teeth so important if they are going to fall out eventually?” We love getting asked this because it presents the opportunity for us to discuss how important oral care is even at such an early age. It is easy to let care for primary teeth slip by the wayside. Still, it is important to establish good oral habits early on. As soon as the first tooth erupts, it is time to begin.
Prior to the eruption of the first tooth, use a damp, clean washcloth to wipe their gums, tongue, and cheeks daily. This will help establish an oral hygiene routine early on, and believe it or not, babies actually enjoy this!
Primary teeth play a significant role in helping ensure there is adequate spacing between teeth for permanent ones to come in without producing crowding. Just like every other part of your child is developing and changing, so is their mouth and face. Primary teeth help to shape and support the mouth as it develops.
It is important to remember that your child’s baby teeth start to develop prenatally during the 6-8 week span of pregnancy! Keep in mind that your child’s first teeth will begin erupting between four to six months of age.
How to Deal with Teething
Your child’s teeth are beginning to erupt, and it is causing them a lot of pain and discomfort; most people know this period as ‘teething.’ It seems like it goes on forever with no end in sight for both the child and mom/dad; we promise it will end. We have outlined some best-practice tips and tricks to help you navigate through your child’s teething phase.
The best advice that we can give is to use Children’s Motrin or Children’s Advil to help ease the pain that your child is experiencing. Try to keep your child’s gums cool; use a damp washcloth to massage the area gently. You can also give them a non-gel teething toy to chew on; pro tip: keep it in the fridge to cool it down before you give it to them. Remember to wash it thoroughly between uses. This will help keep their gums cool. You can also give your child something edible such as a waffle or bagel as long as there is adult supervision.
Be Careful of Putting Your Child to Bed with Milk
Milk is crucial to the development of bones and teeth. Still, we recommend limiting the consumption of milk to mealtimes (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Milk contains sugar, which, when left on teeth for long periods, such as overnight, can lead to tooth decay, commonly known as Baby Bottle Decay. Be sure to brush your child’s teeth and gums before putting them to bed. If you wish to put your baby to bed with a bottle, fill it with water.
A pro-mom tip for both breast and bottle feeding moms: Keep a clean, damp washcloth close by for those late or nighttime feedings. Being able to wipe your baby’s mouth and gums after feeding will help avoid decay and establish an early mouth care routine.
How to Care for Primary Teeth
While your child is at this early age, you should not use toothpaste, especially those that have fluoride in them. Wash your infant’s gums and teeth with a warm, damp washcloth. Once your child has multiple teeth erupting and is old enough to swallow, you can start introducing toothpaste when cleaning their teeth. Always consult your child’s pediatric dentist or pediatrician if any questions arise regarding your child’s teeth during this crucial developmental stage.
Contact Our Office Today
We start seeing our patients as early as the age of one or the eruption of their first tooth! The AAPD recommends establishing a ‘dental home’ for your child early on for a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles. The pediatric dental office of Dr. Leach is conveniently located at 4895 Windward Pkwy. Suite 201, Alpharetta, GA 30004, and serves families in Roswell, Cumming, Milton, and Johns Creek. Give our New Patient Coordinator a call today at Michael J. Leach D.D.S. Pediatric Dentistry Phone Number (770) 521-8855 or fill out an online appointment request.