As parents, you love to see the first appearance of your child’s first baby teeth. Seeing the first pearly white erupt out of the gums makes you so excited. Witnessing the early milestones of your children’s development makes you confident that he or she is going to be a normal and healthy kid.
When babies are born, their teeth are not visible on the mouth yet. This is because, the whole tooth structure is not yet well-developed but, they are already there. After six or seven months, the first tooth would start to erupt. Usually, the two lower front teeth are the first to show. This can vary; for some babies, this takes place earlier like four to five months, others, this happens around eight or nine months. Also very rare, but some babies are actually born with teeth. The variation on dental development depends on genetics and gender. For example, girls teeth may erupt faster than boys teeth.
By the time your child reaches age three, he should have completed the whole set of 20 primary teeth. From then, the jaw continues to grow in order to make room for the eruption of permanent teeth. You also call this as baby teeth or milk teeth. At age 6, the first permanent molars will start to come in.
Dental care should start after the baby has his first feeding or a couple of days after he or she is born. Parents should clean the baby’s mouth after each feeding. This is done by wiping the tongue, gums and mucosa with damp gauze cloth to keep the milk from sticking on the inner walls of the mouth. As your baby grows and his first teeth erupt, you need to brush his teeth with a soft toothbrush; do not use toothpaste.
Never give your baby a bottle of milk or any kind of juices before putting him to bed, if you do, make sure you brush his teeth. If your child drinks anything other than water and fall asleep, the sugar in those drinks will cause cavities. At around 12-18 months of age, you can take your child to their first dentist visit and after that, every 6 months for a dental checkup and cleaning. The reason is, first the dentist can detect any early signs of decay or cavities as well as any abnormalities and second, your children will get used to going to the dentist and will prevent anxiety. At age 3, you can start flossing their teeth and if he or she is able to spit out and rinse, then you can also use a very small amount of toothpaste (the size of the tip of a match).
As your child gets older, You should teach him the importance of tooth brushing and flossing. He should also see his dentist regularly (twice a year) to have his teeth properly monitored.
There are a lot of reasons why you should have proper care for the baby teeth.
Good oral care must be practiced right after the baby has his first feeding. The mouth should be cleaned from milk deposits to maintain healthy gums. Dental hygiene must be taught as soon as the teeth start to erupt. Proper dental care even to baby teeth will make our children’s permanent teeth healthier and stronger because each one of the baby teeth are important in the dental and physical health of your child for the rest of his life. Healthier gums, stronger teeth are achieved with good dental care especially in early childhood dental development.
By Ladan Zinati