A baby’s first set of teeth are present at birth, hidden beneath the gums. Typically, eruption begins between the ages of 6 months and 1 year. Teething is a difficult time for some babies, but the process is all over by the ripe old age of 3.
Next comes tooth fairy season. During this time, permanent adult teeth replace primary teeth as they fall out. Keep reading to learn more detailed information about baby teeth.
The Importance of Primary Teeth
Baby teeth are more than just cute. They act as little placeholders for the permanent teeth. If they fall out too early, it can throw off the body’s rhythm and allow the permanent teeth to come in at the wrong angle or location. Things like cavities, infection, and trauma cause baby teeth to fall prematurely.
Avoid cavities by establishing healthy habits from the beginning. At the first sight of pearly whites, introduce teeth cleaning to your baby. Use a moist washcloth to gently wipe teeth that are far apart when babies aren’t eating solid foods yet. Use a soft bristle toothbrush once your baby regularly eats solids. As soon as they can hold a toothbrush, teach them to brush their teeth every day twice a day for two minutes (the two-min., two-times rule).
A healthy diet equates to a healthy mouth. Adequate nutrition comes from a well-balanced diet. Be especially conscious of their calcium intake. The body primarily uses calcium to grow healthy bones, and teeth are bones. Plain water is best. Sugary drinks like juices and soda are harmful to oral health for individuals of all ages.
It’s easier to prevent cavities if we understand how they happen. The bacteria in plaque eat sugar and excrete acid. This destroys tooth enamel and causes cavities.
Limit your child’s sugar intake. This means avoiding sweet juices in the sippy cup. Brush your baby’s teeth before bed instead of lying them down with a bottle. Dipping a pacifier in honey, an old panacea for fussiness, is detrimental to the health of a baby’s teeth.
Tooth eruption can be painful for infants. It involves the teeth emerging from bone and pushing through tender gum tissue- a very uncomfortable situation. Babies like to chew on things while they teethe, and cold compresses tend to ease inflammation.
Here are some remedies for a fussy teether:
• frozen fruit chunks
• frozen washcloth
• ice in a sock
• teething rings
As a last resort, your pediatrician may prescribe acetaminophen drops.
Visit Eastern Dental for your baby’s wellness checkup. We offer gentle, compassionate care for you and your children.