Baby teeth start to emerge between six and nine months of age. These milk teeth or first teeth help your kid eat and talk and also help the adult teeth come in straight.
Taking care of your kid’s baby teeth is as important to their well-being as ensuring that they receive regular medical check-ups. Infections of any sort, including infections of the teeth, gums and surrounding tissues, may result in fever, sores and other symptoms, including compromising the immune system. Left untreated, cavities in babies and young children can lead to more serious corrective treatments such as surgery under general anesthesia.
Preventive care includes:
Wiping the gums with a washcloth or Q-tip after each feeding is a good habit to get into for both parent and child. When the first teeth start to appear in the mouth, which starts at about six months, you should take special care to wipe away food residue and plaque from all the surfaces of each tooth. If the teeth have no space between them and are touching, those teeth should also be flossed.
Do not allow your child to go to bed with liquids other than water in their bottle, as the sugars in juice and milk left on the child’s teeth overnight can easily lead to decay.
Baby’s First Dentist Visit
Around the age of one or when the first tooth appears, make an appointment for your kid to see the dentist. Having your child visit the dentist early on is not only good preventative care; it will ensure that you receive important information regarding their oral health.
How to prepare for the first visit:
Try playing “dentist.” Make this role-playing exercise fun and explain this is what is going to happen at the dentist’s office as well.
Explain other things that may happen at the dentist’s office, using non-technical language. Don’t try to explain X-rays, for example. Talk about X-rays as pictures and try avoiding words like ‘hurt’, ‘shot’, ‘drill’, ‘needle’, ‘yank’, ‘pull’, or ‘pinch”. Try to take a positive approach.
If possible, take your child together with a bigger brother, sister or friend when they go for a routine check-up or cleaning. This will help make your little one feel more comfortable as he is she is being introduced to the dentist’s office.
Treat the appointment as routine:
Be sure to tell your dentist about any special requirements or medical conditions your child has, such as allergies or bleeding disorders.