What You Should Know About Baby Teeth

What You Should Know About Baby Teeth

New parents have lots to think about –– making sure there are always enough diapers, choosing the right baby food, and determining if they have plenty of weather-appropriate clothing, just to name a few. Learning more about your baby’s new teeth might seem like just another thing on the list, but learning about your baby’s teeth is central to learning how to care for them. 

Though you have your choice of dental providers in the Phoenix area, it’s important to choose a specialist that regularly sees the tiniest teeth. The professional team of pediatric dentists at My Kidz Dentist in Phoenix, Arizona, are ready to answer any questions you might have about your baby’s teeth. 

Baby teeth 101

Babies are born with fresh, toothless gums that provide the backdrop for the world’s cutest grins. During your baby’s first months, oral care primarily consists of wiping the gums and mouth clean after meals. Use a soft cloth dampened with warm water to gently wipe the interior of your baby’s mouth. Even on a strict diet of water and formula, food particles left behind can cause problems for baby teeth. 

Baby teeth, also called deciduous teeth, and primary teeth, are the first full set of teeth that develop. Babies are typically born with 20 teeth that stay hidden in the gums until around six to eight months, though it’s not uncommon for baby’s first teeth to stay hidden for up to the first year. 

Whether your baby’s teeth erupt at eight months, or whether they erupt at 12 months, the arrival of the first tooth is not only cause for celebration, but also the time to meet with your provider at My Kidz Dentist. Your provider will give your baby their first dental exam, check their gum health, and teach you how to take care of their new little teeth. 

From the first tooth through the rest of their lives, your child will need to brush their teeth twice daily. In the beginning, you’ll use an extra-soft bristled toothbrush and a tiny bit of toothpaste roughly the size of a grain of rice. 

The first teeth

The first primary teeth to appear are front teeth, and teeth continue to erupt for up to the next few years. The first teeth to appear are the front teeth on the bottom, followed by the two front teeth at the top. According to the American Dental Association, your child should have all 20 of their baby teeth by age 3, and they should practice taking care of their oral health. 

Once your child is comfortable maintaining their dental hygiene, take your child to the place where you purchase your personal care items. Allow your child to choose their own toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss. For little hands, a flossing tool may be helpful in getting to hard-to-reach areas. Many dental care product manufacturers have partnerships with cartoons or children’s books, making their use more appealing to little ones. 

Eating, drinking, and thumbsucking 

Many parents of babies and young children can attest to the never-ending process of eating, planning meals, having snacks on hand, and so on. Your child’s diet directly affects their oral health, so make sure to be mindful of what your child is eating. As often as possible, make sure to make tooth-friendly suggestions for snacks, like dairy products, nuts, carrots, and apples. 

When you’re making decisions about your child’s diet, don’t forget that what they drink also plays a role. Water is always the best choice, but it’s as impossible to keep kids away from soda as it is to keep them away from candy and desserts. Nevertheless, keeping sugary drinks to a minimum goes a long way in protecting your child’s oral health. 

Thumbsucking is a normal habit, typically observed in children ages 2 through 4. Though thumbsucking is a normal behavior in children, it can be a cause for concern past age 4. The action involved can affect the alignment of your child’s teeth, even making them vulnerable to an overdeveloped jaw, which requires surgery to correct. 

If you’re having trouble with your child’s thumbsucking habit, or you’re unsure about healthy dietary choices for your child’s oral health, a call to your provider at My Kidz Dentist can be your source of guidance and advice. 

Baby’s first tooth is here!

We’re overjoyed to hear that your little one is well on their way to a wonderful set of teeth! Keeping your baby’s teeth healthy is our priority, and we’re ready to start your baby on a long, healthy path. Call one of our offices today, or book an appointment with us online. 

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