When to Start Caring for a Child’s Teeth

When to Start Caring for a Child’s Teeth

Proper dental care begins even before a baby’s first tooth appears. Remember that just because you can’t see the teeth doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Teeth actually begin to form in the second trimester of pregnancy. At birth your baby has 20 primary teeth, some of which are fully developed in the jaw.

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Running a damp washcloth over your baby’s gums following feedings can prevent buildup of damaging bacteria. Once your child has a few teeth showing, you can brush them with a soft child’s toothbrush or rub them with gauze at the end of the day.

Even babies can have problems with dental decay when parents do not practice good feeding habits at home. Putting your baby to sleep with a bottle in his or her mouth may be convenient in the short term — but it can harm the baby’s teeth. When the sugars from juice or milk remain on a baby’s teeth for hours, the natural occurring bacteria ferments creating an acid that begin decalcifying the enamel, creating decay (cavities) a condition known as “bottle mouth”. Pocked, pitted, or discolored front teeth are signs of bottle mouth. Severe cases result in cavities and the need to pull all the front teeth until the permanent ones grow in.

Parents and child care providers should also help young children develop set times for drinking during the day as well because sucking on a bottle throughout the day can be equally damaging to young teeth.

Children’s Dental Health Services

Our goal is to promote the prevention of dental disease through provision of dental hygiene services and by educating parents and children of the importance of good daily oral hygiene, regular preventive care and proper nutrition.  The importance of receiving preventative dental care and education at a young age cannot be overstated. Effective brushing, flossing instruction will help to establish a child’s good oral health habits at home and reduce long-term health care costs by Pre-venting more serious dental disease.

Tooth Chart