Your child's first teeth should be cleaned and cared for, for mostly the same reasons that you take care of your adult teeth. Preventing infection, inflammation and tooth loss is important, no matter your age! All 20 baby teeth are present at birth. They gradually emerge from the gums and appear over the following 12 months or so. Most children have all 20 primary teeth showing by age 3.
Caring for Baby Teeth is Really Important
Your child is at-risk for cavities as soon as the teeth begin to appear. Here are a few tips from the American Dental Association to take care of your baby's teeth and gums:
- Gently clean the gums: Before teeth appear, wipe your baby's gums gently with a clean moist cloth. Doing so will wipe away any potentially infectious bacteria.
- Begin brushing teeth with a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste: Do this once the teeth begin to emerge. Brush twice per day with very gentle pressure. Only a very small smear of paste is needed, about the size of a grain of rice. Instruct your child about the importance of spitting the paste out. Let them know they shouldn't swallow toothpaste.
- Encourage independent brushing around age 7. Do this once you feel confident your child can control the toothbrush, and can spit out the toothpaste without swallowing it. Continue to supervise until you are sure they've got the hang of it.
Baby teeth help your child develop his or her ability to speak, chew and smile. These first teeth also hold a space for the adult teeth in the jaw. When baby teeth are lost prematurely or if they must be pulled because of tooth decay, then adult teeth may erupt in a more crooked or crowded fashion. Primary teeth should be kept clean and disease free, regardless of the fact they will eventually fall out.
Your Baby's First Dental Appointment
Arrange your baby's first dental appointment within 6 months of the appearance of the first tooth, or no later than baby's first birthday. This first visit is an opportunity to introduce your child to the experience of the dentist and dental office. The dentist will gently examine your baby's teeth development and wipe their gums clean. We want your baby to have a positive first dental visit so that they begin to form a lifelong value of dental health.
At The Dentists, our entire team is committed to healthy, beautiful smiles and happy patients. With each new patient who visits us, no matter their age, we want to make sure they have a positive experience. Your entire family can receive the dental care you need and deserve from our experienced dentists and staff.
Arrange Your Next Dental Appointment with The Dentists
Ready to schedule your next family dentistry appointment at one of our four Omaha offices? If so, please call us in Hillsborough: 402-445-4647 Village Pointe: 402-505-7474 Ralston Square: 402-733-4441 or Dundee: 402-502-5593.