Your baby is born with all their teeth hidden in the gums, and over time the primary teeth push their way through the gums. Primary teeth can start to show up around six months, although it can vary. By the time your child has their first birthday, they should see a dentist to check for decay or abnormalities, and for you as a parent to learn how to instill good oral habits in your little one.
The American Dental Association recommends seeing a dentist six months after the first tooth emerges. Your child will have all their baby teeth by the time they are three years old. These primary teeth begin falling out by the time they are six, allowing the permanent, or adult teeth to come in. By the time your child is 12-13 they will have all their adult teeth. Spaces are normal in primary teeth because they allow room for the adult teeth to emerge. You will need to clean your baby’s gums before the first tooth erupts. Wipe down your infant’s gums with a clean, damp cloth after feeding, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends cleaning baby’s teeth after breakfast and before bedtime.
Once your baby’s teeth emerge, brush with a small, baby toothbrush that has soft bristles and water. It is not advisable to use toothpaste before the baby is two. Never give your baby a bottle of juice or milk to use during naptime or bedtime as this can cause tooth decay and the misalignment of the teeth from sucking.
From 12-24 months, you can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Because your child won’t have the manual dexterity to brush their teeth properly until around age six, so you will have to help with this. If you want to encourage your child to build confidence, you can let them brush at first, and then help them finish up. You won’t need to floss their teeth until they are around two to two and a half years old, when two teeth are touching. While your child can typically brush by themselves by the time they are six, you will need to help them with flossing until they are 8-10, and can do it properly for themselves.
You will be setting the foundation for your child’s health from their birth onwards! Please give our staff a call if you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation at (801) 794-9905.