October 26, 2017
When you have a baby there are so many new things to think about. You worry about their eating schedule, their sleeping schedule, and their doctor appointments, and that’s just the beginning! What happens when their teeth begin to arrive? Should you brush them? Is it important to take care of them when they’re only going to fall out eventually? When should your child first see the dentist? Your pediatric dentist has the answers you need.
Why are Baby Teeth Important?
Your child’s baby teeth have some critical jobs to do before they fall out.
- They help introduce your child to solid foods and navigate new flavors and textures.
- They save space for adult teeth that will be arriving down the road. They also help those larger teeth come in properly.
- They help your child learn how to speak. Teeth are important for helping them learn to form words.
When baby teeth fall out too soon, your child’s oral health and development may be compromised. Also, decay that has developed on baby teeth can cause permanent damage to the developing adult teeth.
How Should I Take Care of My Child’s Baby Teeth?
You should wipe down your child’s gum with a warm cloth after feedings until their first teeth arrive. Begin to brush those small teeth with a small soft bristle brush designed for babies and if you choose to, you can use a small smear of training toothpaste that is safe to swallow and doesn’t contain fluoride. Brushing early on creates good habits and acclimates your child to the feel of the toothbrush in their mouth.
When Should My Child First See the Dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child should make their first visit to the pediatric dentist soon (within 6 months) after their first tooth arrives, or approximately around their first birthday. This may seem early, however, these first appointments allow your dentist to monitor their oral development and help them acclimate to visits with the dentist. Early appointments set them up for successful visits in the future.
Children should visit their dentist every six months, just like adults. This allows parents to be proactive about any treatment they might need or developmental concerns you should be aware of early on.
Your pediatric dentist is your partner in taking care of your child’s baby teeth and adult teeth in the future.
About Coastal Pediatric Dentistry
Dr. James Forester loves taking care of children in San Luis Obispo because he is actually a kid at heart! He’s an expert in his field and has been meeting the needs of kids on the Central Coast for over a decade. His focus is on making dentistry fun and pleasant for your child while providing exceptional care.
Would you like to contact Dr. Forester? He can be reached through his website, or by calling 805-592-2020.
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