- September 23, 2019
Some of the greatest joys of raising a baby come with the passing of all the firsts: steps, words and teeth. The emergence of teeth usually happens at around six months and may leave you wondering about proper kids’ dental care. Long before you start searching for a children’s dentist, it is important to take care of your baby’s teeth. While baby teeth are temporary, taking care of them is still vital to prevent long-term oral health problems and establish good habits early.
Check out these helpful tips:
Even before teeth erupt, you should gently wipe your baby’s gums every day with a soft, damp cloth after feedings to fight bacterial buildup. No toothpaste is used.
When First Teeth Erupt
Continue to use a clean, damp washcloth or gauze pad to gently wipe first teeth after meals and at bedtime. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends using a soft toothbrush designed specifically for infants with a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste.
Cavities in baby teeth are a real possibility. Do not let babies drink fruit juice from a bottle. The sugar in the juice and prolonged exposure from the nipple can wear away at tooth enamel.
Schedule a Dental Visit
As soon as the first tooth erupts, schedule a visit with a children’s dentist or family practice that has expertise in working with all ages. The dentist will evaluate your baby’s oral health and provide helpful advice for what to look for in the coming months.
Wean from the Bottle
Transition your baby away from the bottle at around 12 to 14 months of age to reduce direct, prolonged exposure of drinks to your baby’s teeth.
As your baby gets older and more teeth erupt, add a bit more toothpaste to the brush (the AAPD recommends a pea-size amount for kids ages 2 to 5). You need to continue assisting your child with toothbrushing to make sure teeth are being properly cared for. It is also a good time let your child take some control (after you’re sure all teeth have been cleaned properly) so they learn how to brush teeth themselves. Many parents explore teeth brushing games for toddlers to make the process fun.
Children’s Dentist Near Joliet
If you are looking for a children’s dentist near Joliet, be sure to call Shorewood Family Dental Care at 815-725-5991 or book an appointment online.