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Knowing All About your Baby’s Teeth

Smiling Baby Birl Playing with Water

Blog Highlights:

  • Baby teeth are as important as adult teeth
  • Babies usually have their first tooth around 6 months of age, but some babies can have them at a much later time
  • You can soothe your child during teething by massaging his or her gums
  • Letting your child have a well-baby checkup can help the child and the parents alike
  • Bacteria will attack your baby’s teeth as soon as they emerge
  • Using the right toothbrush and the right amount of toothpaste is important for proper oral hygiene
  • Parents need to brush their child’s teeth until they can properly do it on their own

Baby teeth, or your child’s primary teeth, may be temporary, but they do have as much importance as the adult teeth that will soon replace them.

When will Baby’s first tooth emerge?

Babies have 20 primary teeth which are actually present upon birth. Although they are not yet visible, the first tooth will typically emerge as soon as the baby reaches 6 to 12 months old.

You can check out a baby teething chart so that you will know which one will typically emerge first, and when specific types of teeth can be expected to appear.

The emergence of the very first tooth can cause gum swelling and tenderness. To soothe your child, you can rub your clean finger, a teaspoon, or wet gauze over your baby’s gums. You can also let your child chew and play with a clean teething ring. If your child is suffering from too much pain, you can take your baby to a dentist or to your child’s pediatrician so that you can get professional advice and help. By the age of three, your child will most likely have all 20 primary teeth.

When should my child see the dentist?

The ADA suggests that children see their dentist 6 months after the first tooth emerges. It is crucial that your child sees the dentist before his or her first birthday. This kind of checkup is referred to as a well-baby checkup. The main goal of this visit is to see whether your child has any existing dental problems. This is also the time when the dentist will begin teaching you how to clean your child’s teeth, and about why you must avoid letting your child suck his or her thumb.

Knowing how to care for your Child’s Teeth

Caring for your child’s teeth from the very begging is very important. Here’s what you can do:

  • As soon as the first tooth emerges, you need to make sure that you clean it properly with a clean, wet cloth or gauze pad. Bacteria will attack your child’s teeth as soon as they appear; this is why you need to maintain it every day. Your baby’s four front teeth will typically appear around 6 months of age, although some will only have teeth as soon as they reach 12 to 14 months of age.
  • Children who are three years old or younger need assistance when it comes to maintaining proper oral hygiene. As soon as their teeth appear, your child needs to start using a toothbrush. It is recommended that you use a grain-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, and that you brush your child’s teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush. You need to make sure that you supervise your child during this process so that you will know whether your child is brushing his or her teeth properly and whether your child is using the right amount of toothpaste. Brushing your child’s teeth once in the morning and once before bedtime is recommended unless your child’s physician or dentist instructs you otherwise.
  • For children 3 to 6 years old, they can use as much as a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Brush their teeth twice each day or as directed by your child’s dentist or physician. Supervise your child during tooth-brushing and make sure that your child does not swallow the toothpaste.
  • Parents need to brush their child’s teeth until they can properly do it on their own. Provide them with a small toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste as they awake in the morning and before the go to sleep at night. As soon as two of your child’s teeth grow side by side, you should also begin a daily flossing routine.

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It's time to clean those pearly whites!