First Tooth – First Birthday
Often times, parents wonder when they should start taking their child to the dentist. It is in fact sooner than you may think! You cannot be too early to start your child with their oral hygiene care routine. The American Association of Pediatric Dentists recommends that parents establish a dental home for their child by the time the first tooth erupts or by their first birthday. The dentist can examine your child’s teeth and ensure there are no concerns early on.
Why are Baby Teeth Important if They’re Just Going to Fall Out?
Indeed, the baby teeth or primary teeth are going to be lost. Parents ask, “So then why is it so important to take my 1 year old to the dentist?” Baby teeth are so important because they are replaced by permanent teeth. This is why it is crucial to maintain the health of the baby teeth so they are able to save space for the teeth replacing them. Poor oral hygiene such as not brushing or not using fluoridated toothpaste sufficiently can lead to decay in teeth which can potentially give rise to infections or even spread to new adult teeth which are erupting just below.
A common oral health risk for infants is the baby bottle. When your child consumes sugary liquid, the bacteria in their mouth start to flourish and cause decay which can break down their teeth. To avoid this, as a safer option you may give them a bottle of water before they sleep or you may use a wet washcloth to wipe their gums and teeth if they must absolutely have milk at night.
Oral Health Tips You Need to Know
We recommend the following tips to ensure that your child is on their way to a healthy mouth and healthy life:
- Visit the dentist routinely at least every 6 months
- Use about a grain size of fluoridated toothpaste for baby teeth as teeth start to erupt. For kids ages 2-6, you can use a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste and ensure that they are not swallowing it
- Lay your child down facing away from you with their head between your legs and begin flossing as early as their teeth begin to touch
- Use a damp washcloth to wipe teeth and gums after any food or drink for infants
- Avoid an excess of sugary drinks or snacks between meals because this can increase the chances of cavities forming
- Keep them hydrated – water not only helps to rinse away sugars that can cause cavities, but also provides a natural source of fluoride for their teeth!
Tiny teeth are just as important as big teeth. Contact Roseman Dental today if your little one is in need of a dentist.
Article by Tanisha Khurana
DMD Candidate Class of 2023
Roseman University College of Dental Medicine
ASDA Chapter Fundraising Chair
Pediatric Club Outreach Coordinator