Congratulations on the arrival of your new baby! Now let's get you ready for the arrival of your baby's first tooth!
When will my baby's teeth start coming in?
On average, baby teeth begin to come into the mouth at around 6 months old. You may notice excess drooling and some crankiness during these times. Your child will continue to get new baby teeth until around 3 years old when 20 beautiful baby teeth fill their adorable little smiles!
How do I prepare for my baby's teeth to come in?
Even before your baby's first tooth appears, the gums can benefit from your careful attention. After breast- or bottle-feeding, wrap one finger with a clean, damp washcloth or piece of gauze and gently rub it across your baby's gum tissue. This practice both clears your little one's mouth of any fragments of food and begins the process for building good daily oral care habits.
My baby's first tooth is here! Now what?
When that first tooth makes an entrance, it's time to upgrade to a baby toothbrush. There are usually two options: a long-handled toothbrush that you and your baby can hold at the same time, and a finger-puppet-like brush that fits over the tip of your pointer finger. In each case, the bristles are soft and few.
If your little one doesn't react well to the introduction of a toothbrush, don't give up. Switch back to a damp washcloth for a few months and try the toothbrush again. During the teething process, your child will want to chew on just about anything, and a baby toothbrush with a teether can become a favorite toy during this period.
How do we avoid cavities?
Don't give your baby any sort of sweetened liquids such as flavored drinks, juices or soda. Even the sugars present in formula, and milk (this goes for breast milk as well) can lead to tooth decay, so regular teeth and gum cleaning is vital. Also, make sure your baby never goes to bed with a bottle; sugary liquids in prolonged contact with teeth are a guarantee for early-childhood cavities!
When should we bring my baby to the dentist?
We recommend that you bring your baby in for a visit within six months of the first tooth's eruption – usually around his or her first birthday. Since decay can occur in even the smallest of teeth, the earlier your baby visits us, the more likely he or she is to avoid problems. We'll look for any signs of early problems with your baby's oral heath, and check in with you about the best way to care for your little one's teeth. Remember that preparing for each dental visit with a positive attitude goes a long way toward making your child comfortable with regular checkups.