How to Care for Baby Teeth
It’s a myth that baby teeth aren’t important. Even though baby teeth are eventually replaced, they’re still needed for learning how to talk, eating, and saving space for adult teeth.
While your child will need to see a pediatric dentist after getting their first tooth or before their first birthday, you should already be taking steps to protect their oral health.
Baby teeth typically erupt through the gum between 6 and 12 months of age. Are you ready?
Caring for Baby Teeth
Use Fluoride Toothpaste
Start using fluoride toothpaste as soon as your child gets their first tooth. Fluoride has been shown to strengthen tooth enamel over time, reducing your child’s risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing your child’s teeth twice a day will also help them get in the habit of brushing their own teeth once they’re old enough.
Brush Twice a Day
If your child is less than 3 years old, you’ll want to put a tiny smear of toothpaste on their brush (about the size of a rice grain). After your child’s third birthday, you’ll want use a pea-sized glob of toothpaste on their brush.
You’ll want to brush your child’s teeth twice a day. Our pediatric dentists recommend brushing your child’s teeth after breakfast and before bed. That way, your child won’t have dental plaque sitting on their teeth all night. Continue brushing your child’s teeth for them until they’re able to do so on their own.
Schedule First Appointment with Pediatric Dentist
Our pediatric dentists and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend you schedule your child’s first dentist appointment after they get their first tooth or before their first birthday. During your child’s first appointment with us, our goal is to help your child feel comfortable in our office so they won’t feel anxious during future visits.
Just like an adult, your child will need a teeth cleaning and oral examination every 6 months so they can maintain a healthy smile. A teeth cleaning appointment helps us catch oral health issues before they grow into larger problems.
Floss Once a Day
Dental plaque loves to hide where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. As soon as your child has teeth that touch each other, you should be flossing. Flossing removes plaque and food particles caught between teeth and along the gum line. Ask your child’s pediatric dentist for more.
Don’t Put Child to Bed with Bottle
We don’t recommend using a bottle to help your baby fall asleep.happens when the enamel is exposed to sugary drinks (like milk or formula) for a long period of time. The bacteria that live in your baby’s mouth use sugar to produce cavity-causing acid. For this reason, many babies that sleep with bottles end up having cavities in their upper front teeth.
Ask about Dental Sealants
Is your child prone to getting cavities? If so, your child’s pediatric dentist may recommend dental sealants. Like the name suggests, a tooth sealant seals the biting surface of back teeth where plaque likes to hide. Dental sealants are great for children who may neglect brushing back teeth, which is harder for them to reach.
Our pediatric dentists in Livonia, Dearborn, and Canton are dedicated to helping children maintain healthy smiles. Children’s Dental Care is proud to help parents just like you. Call today to schedule your child’s appointment with us.