The first teeth your child will have are called baby teeth, which start erupting when your child is only a few months old. Even though these teeth will eventually fall out or get pushed out by their "adult" teeth, it is still important to take good care of them and teach your children about proper dental hygiene. Here is more information about baby teeth and how to take proper care of them.
What is the purpose of baby teeth?
Baby teeth are actually more important than you might think. While it is true that most or all of your child's baby teeth will eventually fall out when their adult teeth erupt, these baby teeth serve multiple purposes. For one thing, they help the child to learn proper speech. A child's speaking becomes more clear and easier to understand when their teeth start growing in. They also allow the child's permanent adult teeth to grow in properly, along with helping them to learn to chew naturally.
Why is thumb sucking frowned upon?
It has long since been advised that you not let your baby suck their thumb or use pacifiers for too long. While doing for a short period of time is usually okay and can calm down your baby, prolonged use of these habits can cause problems with their oral health. If they are sucking on their thumb or a pacifier when their baby teeth start to erupt, these teeth can actually grow in crooked. Children who sucked their thumbs frequently often have crooked teeth and overbites.
Should baby teeth be brushed?
When you can feel a tooth start to come through your baby's gums, you know it is time to start brushing. Even when it isn't fully erupted, begin brushing it gently with a child's toothbrush. An infant toothbrush is extra gentle and is made specifically for infants who have their first teeth. Not only does it help to keep their teeth clean and free of bacteria and plaque, but it gets them used to the act of having their teeth brushed every day. Just be sure not to use toothpaste with infants.
When is toothpaste used?
Your child's pediatric dentist will let you know when it is time to start using toothpaste, but usually when they reach toddler age or slightly older is when it is a good idea. Start with a very small amount of toothpaste and use child's toothpaste, as it is safe to swallow if they accidentally swallow some of it. You should still teach them to spit out their toothpaste.
When do you bring them to the dentist?
It is advised that you bring your child to a children's dentist like http://www.vfdental.com as soon as their first tooth comes in. This is typically around their first birthday. Once your baby starts teething, it is a good idea to call around to local pediatric dentists and find the one you feel will be a good fit. When their teeth erupt fully, schedule their first dental appointment.