At FDA, we believe that healthy habits start early! In honor of Children’s Dental Month, we’re talking about your child’s baby teeth: what to expect, and how to care for them. Here are some frequently asked questions:
1) How Important are Baby Teeth?
Although they are eventually replaced by adult teeth, baby teeth are still very important! Not just cute, they actually help with chewing solid food, learning to talk, and they serve as placeholders for when the big teeth grow in.
2) When Will My Baby Develop Baby Teeth?
Children develop at different rates, but typically a baby will sprout his or her first tooth between 6 to 12 months of age. Usually, the two bottom front teeth pop up first, with the top two teeth following right behind. New baby teeth continue to make their appearance until about age three. Around age six, you can expect your child to get their first loose tooth!
Your baby or toddler may have lots of space between their teeth and that’s ok! This is normal and allows more space for adult teeth when it is their time to move in. For more information on new teeth timing, check out the American Dental Association’s Eruption Chart.
3) When Should My Child Start Brushing and Flossing?
Even though all baby teeth will eventually fall out, tooth decay and cavities are still possible, even at a young age. To clean your baby’s first tooth, use a wet washcloth to gently wipe the tooth and the front of the tongue. Do this after feeding your baby and again before bed.
When your baby has more than one tooth, you can start brushing them with a soft-bristled, baby toothbrush or you can use your finger. Use an ADA-approved toothpaste specifically formulated for babies or just plain water works too! Flossing isn’t necessary until two or more teeth are touching together, usually between the ages of two and three.
4) When Should My Child First Visit the Dentist?
Every child is different and we want to help them build a positive relationship with oral health and dental care. We recommend scheduling your child’s first dentist appointment between their first and their third birthday. Give us a call to determine if your child is ready for their first appointment. At this appointment, Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos will help them to feel comfortable with the dental chair and all of the tools we use. We will examine your child’s teeth for cavities and will also give you and your child a lesson on proper brushing technique.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s little pearly whites, feel free to get in touch – we’re here to help! Our team of fun and friendly dental professionals looks forward to caring for your child and helping them develop life-long healthy habits! Give us a call at 207.781.5900!