Parents who are delighted by their baby’s cute smile can’t imagine what they will feel when the first teeth appear. Babies have 20 primary teeth, which are already present at birth in the jaws. They begin to make an appearance when the baby is between 6 months and 1 year old. By the age of 3, most children have a full set of primary teeth. Read on to learn more about baby teeth.
Baby Teeth: Early Signs
To see at what age-specific teeth appear, here’s a nifty eruption chart. It also shows the order teeth typically appear in. While it’s different for every baby, the first teeth usually come at the bottom and top front of the mouth. Babies tend to have tender or sore gums when the first teeth come. To soothe their gums, rub on them gently with a wet gauze pad or a clean finger. Some parents give their babies a teething ring to chew.
Why are Baby Teeth Important?
Baby teeth help babies speak, chew, and smile. They make room for permanent teeth under the gums. If a baby loses a tooth too early, the permanent teeth can make it hard for other adult teeth to find space when they grow. Then, teeth can get crowded or crooked. To protect your baby’s teeth for the years to come, you should start them off with good oral care. Taking them to the dentist regularly is part of that. The first visit should be before they turn one.
Preparing Your Child for a Visit to the Dentist
To prepare your child, get them to practice opening their mouths. It will be easier for the dentist to count their teeth. Ask about any required patient forms in advance. It may be easier and faster for you to fill them out at home ahead of time. It will also help to prepare a list of questions. A specialized dentist can offer advice if your child is sucking their thumb all the time, using a pacifier excessively, or teething.
The pediatric dentist will examine your baby to make sure the development of their teeth and jaw is normal. If your baby doesn’t want to sit alone in the dental chair, you can sit in it with them in your lap. The dentist will check for cavities, mouth injuries, or other issues. Then, they will clean their teeth and advise you on daily care.
Booking an Appointment
Don’t book one during naptime. Your baby should be rested and in a good mood. Give them a light meal before the visit, so hunger doesn’t make them cranky. Of course, brush their teeth after the meal.
Tips for Pediatric Dental Hygiene
A few days after your baby is born, clean their mouth using a moist, clean washcloth or gauze pad to wipe the gums. Decay can start as soon as teeth appear. The front few teeth usually push through when babies are 6 months old, although that can vary.
If your child is still under 3, experts recommend brushing their teeth as soon as they start to appear. Brush them in the morning and in the evening or as instructed by your dentist. Start cleaning between their teeth every day when they grow two teeth that touch.
Congratulations on your first baby teeth! This is a beautiful moment for you and your child and, hopefully, the beginning of a lifetime of great dental hygiene. For more information about pediatric dentistry, tips for caring for baby and children’s teeth and gums, and more, give Steger Smiles a call today!