Baby teeth may be small, but they’re important. Healthy teeth are a vital part of your child’s overall health. Did you know they act as placeholders for adult teeth? A child’s primary set of teeth play a part in eating and learning to speak. Without a healthy set of baby teeth, your child will have trouble chewing and speaking clearly.
Happy Smiles understand the value of teaching your child good oral hygiene habits. Children who learn good oral hygiene have a better chance of enjoying a lifelong healthy smile.
Did you know that a baby’s 20 primary teeth are already present under the gums at birth? Starting early is key. After weeks of watching your baby drool and fuss, you finally spot that first little tooth bud popping up through the gums. Over the next couple of years, your baby’s gummy smile will gradually be replaced by two rows of baby teeth.
From the time your child is born, there are steps you can take to prevent cavities and promote healthy teeth.
Here are a few steps to consider:
• Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle, propping it in their mouth or allowing your baby to feed “at will”.
• Clean your infant’s gums with a moistened washcloth after feeding and gently massage the gum tissue.
• Ease teething symptoms with a clean teething ring or cold wet washcloth. Cold temperatures are soothing, so you may want to chill the teething ring.
• You can help stop the transmission of bacteria that cause tooth decay (cavities) by avoiding testing the temperature of the bottle with your mouth, sharing utensils such as spoons, or cleaning your baby’s pacifier or bottle nipple by putting it in your mouth. Dental decay is an infectious transmissible disease.
• Promote healthy habits by limiting the frequency and amount of sweetened beverages and foods you give your child when weaning them from the bottle.
• If you notice white or brown spots, which may indicate dental decay (cavities), or anything else out of the ordinary, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.
• Take your child to see the dentist for their first dental exam within 6 months of getting his/her first tooth or by their first birthday. After the initial dental visit, regular visits, based on the child’s oral health needs, are recommended.
Starting infants and toddlers off with good oral care affects permanent teeth and can help protect a child’s teeth for decades to come. If you have additional questions about caring for your baby’s teeth please call Happy Smiles today.