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Your pediatric dentist will tell you how important it is to care for your baby’s baby teeth from day one to avoid future dental issues.

When it comes to protecting your child’s teeth, the more you know, the better a job you’ll be able to do. Especially for first time parents, your knowledge about early dentistry and baby teeth may be limited, because this is a whole new adventure for you. So, here are a few things perhaps you didn’t know about baby teeth, and how you can best care for your child when it comes to oral health.

Your baby’s first tooth is a big childhood milestone. You’ll be saying ‘so long’ to that gummy grin, and you’ll likely deal with a little fussing as your baby’s teeth begin to erupt and grow in. This process can come with a little pain and irritability for your baby, as well as a low grade fever on occasion. That said, a lot more changes during this stage than the way your baby’s smile looks.

The Importance of Primary Teeth

Baby teeth, also called primary teeth, serve a major purpose for your child. Those baby teeth prepare the mouth for the permanent teeth that will carry your child through adulthood. These primary teeth serve the obvious purposes– chewing and eating, but they also aid your child in speech functions, while also serving as placeholders for the permanent teeth that will eventually begin to replace them.

Keeping these baby teeth healthy as your child grows and matures will help ensure a healthier dental path for them as they approach adulthood. Proper dental hygiene and preventative dental care work in tandem to help keep your child’s teeth and mouth healthy and prevent dental problems down the road that can be both painful and costly.

Work with your pediatric dentist to provide great care for your child’s baby teeth, teaching good dental habits early.

Quick Facts about Baby Teeth:

  • Teething generally begins around six months of age, but can start anywhere between 3 months and 12 months varying baby to baby.
  • Baby teeth begin to form while the baby is still in utero. In fact, tooth buds begin forming during the second trimester.
  • By age 3, most babies have grown in all their primary teeth– 20 in total.
  • Signs of teething include excessive drooling, irritability, red or swollen gums, ear rubbing, low-grade fever, sucking or biting, and sometimes facial rashes.
  • You can help soothe your baby’s sore gums with teething toys, a cold washcloth used as a compress or to bite down on, chilled foods, and of course– lots of extra love and cuddles.
  • Even before your baby’s teeth come in, it’s a good idea to wipe down the gum area daily with a wet washcloth.
  • As soon as teeth become visible, you should begin brushing them twice daily with a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Encourage your baby to spit as soon as he or she is able.
  • Baby teeth can get cavities just like permanent teeth. Work to avoid this with proper at home care and regular exams and cleanings with your pediatric dentist.
  • Limit the amount of sugary juice and foods your baby has to help protect the primary teeth against decay.
  • Visit a pediatric dentist when the time comes. The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends seeing a dentist before the child’s first birthday, or six months after the appearance of that first baby tooth.

Our team at Tedford Family Dentistry in Chattanooga would love to help you and your child take exceptional care of those precious primary teeth. If you need to schedule an appointment for your child, contact us today!

Published in Blog
Thursday, 16 February 2017 15:33

National Children’s Dental Health Month

Childrens Dental Health Ooltewah Dentist An entire month to celebrate dental awareness? Yep, and it’s one of our favorites! Celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month this February with us as we promote healthy gums, teeth, and overall oral hygiene in children. Looking for ways to improve your child’s dental habits? Here’s what you need to keep your little one’s teeth clean and healthy.

Start Brushing. Bacteria and decay can begin as soon as baby teeth come in. Once they erupt, the American Dental Association says an early start is crucial. It is recommended to brush baby teeth twice daily, instead of waiting until children are older.

Use Fluoride. Toothpaste warning labels reading, “harmful if swallowed” can often scare parents from using products containing fluoride in children. However, it is encouraged to begin healthy habits and dental prevention at an early age. So how much is recommended? When you start brushing, smear only the tiniest amount of toothpaste on your child’s toothbrush, as it doesn’t take much. At 24 months, the amount can be increased to the size of a grain of rice. At three years of age and older, the amount should increase roughly to the size of a pea. If you are concerned about the amount or your child’s inability to spit, consult your pediatric dentist or pediatrician for more information.

Start Flossing. Once your child develops their baby teeth, it’s never too early to start flossing. Child-friendly flossing tools are available to help make cleaning easier until your little one learns how.

Drink Water. Water is excellent for overall wellness, especially in oral health. Drinking the appropriate amount of water containing fluoride per day can help protect little teeth from pesky cavities.

A Clean Mouth is a Happy Mouth. Keeping a pacifier in their mouth can almost seem like a full-time job, and the same goes for utensils. However, if you are picking these up and putting them in your mouth, then back in theirs thinking that it’s cleaner, think again. Doing so can introduce new germs and bacteria transmitted from your saliva.

Schedule the First Dental Visit. How soon should you schedule your baby’s first visit? This major milestone should take place soon after your baby’s first tooth and no later than their first birthday.

For more information regarding good dental habits in children and pediatric dentistry, give us a call today to schedule your baby’s first appointment.  
Published in Blog