Early Dental Care

Teething

Baby teeth usually start appearing from 6 to 12 months of age. It is accompanied by irritation, soreness, and swelling of the gums, which can last for a while until the child turns three. You can make this soreness bearable for the child by purchasing any of the teething medications available from your pharmacy. In addition, you can massage the gums with a clean finger, or make use of a cold teething ring for the child. Avoid the use of teething biscuits because of its sugar content.

A baby’s teething period is a delicate one. Constantly watch out for signs of baby bottle decay. Avoid feeding the baby prior to sleep causing milk accumulation in his/her mouth. At this point, flow of saliva is slow and milk becomes concentrated in the mouth. Sugar in milk reacts with bacteria in the mouth to form acids, which erode the teeth enamel. These acids are concentrated around the baby’s teeth while asleep and cause damage. Do not allow any other drink apart from water to remain in the baby’s mouth while asleep. Report any dull spots in the baby’s mouth to your pediatric dentist.

Infant’s New Teeth

Baby teeth, also known as deciduous or primary teeth are very important in a baby’s dental development. They help the baby speak properly and chew foods. The teeth also help jaws develop properly and establish a perfect pathway for the reception of permanent teeth later in life, usually by the sixth birthday.

Because of the function of baby teeth in creating pathways for the reception of permanent teeth, any baby with missing or poorly developed baby teeth may need an installation of a space retainer. This space retainer ensures that this pathway does not close up before the eruption of permanent teeth. Permanent teeth that come after badly developed baby teeth are usually deformed.

Start early in teaching your child how to care for his/her baby teeth. This goes a long way to determine how he/she will take care of the permanent teeth when they erupt. All known dental ailments affect both children and adults, so it is recommended that children also get scheduled dental visits at this early stage.

A Child’s First Dental Visit

A child’s first birthday is the appropriate age for his/her first dental visit. We do not want your child associating dental visits with pain or fear, so our office is warm, bright, and comfortable during the first visit in order help him/her feel relaxed and get familiar with our staff and doctors. This builds trust and ensures less anxiety during subsequent visits.

Why Primary Teeth Are Important

Primary teeth are important for several reasons. Foremost, good teeth allow a child to eat and maintain good nutrition. Healthy teeth allow for clear pronunciation and speech habits. The self-image that healthy teeth give a child is immeasurable. Primary teeth also guide eruption of the permanent teeth.

Good Diet and Healthy Teeth

A good diet is directly related to healthy teeth. Acids that erode tooth enamel are mostly formed from reaction of bad food and the bacteria in the mouth. Avoid giving your child processed foods and snacks that encourage the development of cavities. Feed them more of natural foods like cheese, low-fat yogurt, vegetables, etc., for healthy teeth, bones, gums, and tissues.

Infant Tooth Eruption

Baby teeth start erupting as early as 4 months of age. The two bottom front teeth are usually the first to come out, followed by the two top front teeth. The rest of the baby teeth appear over the course of the next 2 years. As the baby turns 3 years old, all the 20 baby teeth should have fully erupted. This eruption is random and does not follow any defined pattern.

From the age of six, the permanent teeth will start replacing the baby teeth. The first set of permanent teeth to appear are usually the bottom front teeth and the first set of molars, and this eruption continues until about the age of 21. The total number of permanent teeth in adults is 28. This number increases to 32 with the eruption of the third set of molars also known as wisdom teeth.

Preventing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

You can prevent this type of tooth decay by avoiding feeding your baby milk prior to sleep. Some babies find it more comfortable to fall asleep during a meal. Such babies should be fed with water during such periods. You can also use a pacifier. Urgently inform us if you notice any strange change in your baby’s mouth.

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