Although they are only temporary, your child’s baby teeth are incredibly important. They help children chew food, learn to speak, and they act as placeholders for permanent teeth. Caring for baby teeth, therefore, is important for your baby’s development and happiness.
Babies have all 20 of their primary teeth from birth, and they start appearing between 4 and 7 months of age, typically. However, every child is different, and this timetable is quite flexible. The first teeth to appear are the two central incisors, either upper or lower. Molars follow, then canines. Teething can cause irritability and excessive drooling. You can gently rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger or smooth spoon to ease discomfort. Fever, rash, and diarrhea are not normal teething symptoms.
A major concern after your baby’s teeth start coming in is tooth decay. In babies and toddlers, this is sometimes known as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, and includes many factors. A common cause is excessive exposure to juice or other sugary drinks from a bottle. Another is falling asleep with a bottle, which can allow milk to pool and provide a breeding ground for bacteria. Decay can also start with bacteria being passed from the caregiver through saliva, with a shared spoon or mouth-cleaned pacifier. To prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, avoid the behaviors above. Also, only use bottles for milk or formula.
As soon as your baby’s first tooth appears, be sure to bring him or her for a checkup with Dr Chris Houser at Heritage Hunt Dental. It’s never too early to start working on a healthy smile.