Nothing is sweeter than the toothless grin of a baby staring up at you. But sooner or later, those baby teeth are going to start to erupt. That’s why you want to know how to care for your baby’s oral hygiene, whether they have teeth or not.
Baby Teeth Tips
Many parents want to know when their baby’s first tooth will come in. It’s different for every baby, but typically you can expect that first pearly white to come in between 6 and 12 months old. Once that first tooth emerges, pick out an age-appropriately sized toothbrush. These are often look a lot like your own toothbrush, but mini sized, and often in fun shapes and colors to appeal to your little ones. Carefully brush your baby’s teeth with a rice sized smear of regular children’s toothpaste to clean their teeth and avoid plaque build-up.
Bonus tip! A soft baby toothbrush feels good on sore gums when a baby is teething. Have an extra toothbrush around that can be used as a teether.
Do Baby Teeth really Matter?
We hear parents ask if baby teeth even matter since they will eventually fall out. And the answer is simple: Yes, yes, yes! Baby teeth are important for a lot of reasons. Most notably, your children need healthy baby teeth to eat and chew their food. Unhealthy or prematurely missing baby teeth can also lead to problems that affect developing permanent teeth. And in some cases, decayed baby teeth can affect a child’s speech.
Choosing a Pediatric Dentist
You need to make your baby’s first pediatric dental appointment after their first baby tooth has erupted or by their first birthday – whichever happens first. Many parents think that seems really early, but there are many benefits to these early appointments. Many times, potential problems can be caught and prevented by early detection. And the sooner your child is used to dental appointments, the less scary they’ll be when they’re older.
When you choose a pediatric dentist, make sure that you pick a board-certified dental specialist who has completed pediatric dental residency training. This means that in addition to regular dental school, your child’s dentist knows how to specially care for your kiddo’s little teeth and gums.