As a busy parent, you have many things to worry about and take care of when your children are young. It may be tempting to put off dental care until your children have a full set of baby teeth. However, prolonging dental care is not a good idea, as preventive dental care for infants prepares your children for a lifetime of healthy, happy smiles.
Dental Health Begins at Birth
It’s never too early to establish a good oral hygiene routine. After nursing or bottle feeding, use a soft cloth moistened with water and gently clean your baby’s gums. (We love and recommend Spiffies Tooth Wipes.) When the first tooth breaks through, you can gently brush it with a very soft toothbrush designed for babies. Do not use toothpaste yet as it is unnecessary at this age.
Scheduling your First Dentist Visit
It’s important to remember that your child’s first dental visit should happen by age one or at the eruption of the first tooth, whichever comes first. This is recommended by the AAPD and we agree! It’s important to make sure that your little one has strong healthy teeth coming in and if they are a little delayed it’s important to get an exam just to make sure everything is developing as it should.
At your first visit with our office our pediatric dentists* will check your baby’s teeth during a “lap” exam and make sure to answer any question you may have. We strive to make sure your visit is comfortable and educational for both you and your family.
*Pediatric dentists are specially trained to work with infants and children to help them feel at ease during the appointment.
Symptoms of Normal Teething
These are a few signs that your little one might be teething:
- Fussy, whiny behavior
- Difficulty nursing or refusing a bottle
- Pulling on the ears and rubbing cheeks
- Biting anything, including fingers, nipples, and toys
- Excessive drooling
- Runny stools
- Light fever
We recommend freezing a teething ring for your baby to gum while their teeth are developing. If you feel any of these behaviors are excessive or concerning give us a call, we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have or schedule an appointment with one of our awesome the pediatric dentists, Mark Kogut or Alex Villasenor.
Remember: No Bottle at Night
It is tempting to give your baby a bedtime bottle. It helps many babies fall asleep quickly and easily. However, this practice promotes baby bottle tooth decay, a serious problem for infants. When a child falls asleep with a bottle in his or her mouth, the milk pools around the teeth and damages the tooth enamel, leading to cavities. If your child must have a bottle at night, only give them water.