Did you know that infant dental care is extremely important from the very beginning? While most babies won't start to see their first tooth creeping out until they're around six months old or so, parents should start to practice good oral care with their little ones from the start. Many dentists actually recommend at least one dental office visit before your child's first birthday to ensure proper oral health. "As soon as you see your baby's first tooth, it's time to start brushing", says local Port Washington, NY dentist Irina Kellerman-Volk. "A visit to your dentist is also very important to ensure those little teeth are coming in properly." While most babies won't be too receptive to having their gums and teeth cleaned, it's important to start young. Once your baby is accustomed to the gum and teeth caring process, they should become a bit more easy going and less fussy than early on.
Things you should be aware of when caring for your child's gums and teeth:
Around 6 months or so, but as early as 3 months your child will begin to teeth. This is the process when your child's teeth begin to break through their gums. During this process, your child may become irritable, and this may cause fussiness and restlessness. In some cases, your baby may drool more than normal and choose not to eat when they normally would. This is common in many children.
Tooth Decay and Baby Bottles
Tooth decay that results from baby bottles, also known as "early childhood dental caries" is very common in infants, but also an important issue to be aware of. By having your child exposed to sugary liquids more than normal, this can cause early onset of tooth decay and have negative effects on their oral health.
Infant sucking is often one of the best forms of comfort for your little one. It's extremely common in almost all babies and toddlers, and is a normal part of their development. However, long-term extended pacifier or thumb sucking may cause issues down the line, so be aware if your child's habit continues past their first few years.
Caring for your baby's first teeth
As a parent, the feeling you get when you see your child's first tooth is amazing. It's a very special moment. If you're like me, you'll be counting each new tooth that makes an appearance! However, this is also a stressful time for new parents, as you'll start to notice that your baby is in a bit of discomfort due to the teeth making their way through baby's gums.
Your baby's first tooth
Once you finally see that first pearly-white, it's time to start brushing. Do your best to clean your baby's teeth twice a day for optimal oral hygiene. This is a great way to establish a routine that will carry on with your child their entire life. In fact, The American Dental Association recommends getting into the habit of dental care as soon as your baby's first tooth breaks through their gums. When scheduling your baby's first dental appointment, it's a good idea to check with your dentist on best ways to ease the anxiety for yourself and baby, as this will be something new for both of you.
Your baby's first dentist visit
While your baby may only have a handful of teeth around 6-12 months, it's important to get into the habit of making yearly dental office visits with your little one as soon as you see those first teeth pop! The initial visit will be mostly preventative, and your dentist will ensure that baby's teeth and gums are looking their best. This is also a good time for parents to ask their dentist any questions they may have about their child's oral care, and how they can ensure a bright, beautiful smile for their little one.