Baby teeth (Milk teeth) are already present in the jaw the baby is born. They begin to appear in the oral cavity in 6 months to 1year and by the time they turn 3 they have all 20 teeth.
When the tooth comes out, some babies have sore gums. They also get cranky. Rubbing their gums with a wet gauze or a clean finger can be soothing. A clean teething toy can also be given.
WHY BABY TEETH MATTER?
Baby teeth are important as they help in chewing, talking and smiling. They also are space maintainers for permanent teeth that are growing below the milk teeth in the bone. If a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent tooth can drift into the space resulting in severe malalignment. Baby teeth are very important for child’s health and its essential that we protect them so that we can ensure good oral health for decades to come.
WHEN SHOULD I FIRST TAKE MY CHILD TO THE DENTIST?
A child’s first dental visit should be as soon as the first tooth comes out and no later than first birthday.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF MY CHILD’S TEETH?
- Please clean your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth by wiping the gums with a clean, moist gauze piece or a wet cloth.
- For children younger than 3 years, start brushing their teeth as soon as they begin to come into the mouth by using fluoride toothpaste in an amount no more than the size of a grain of rice and brush teeth thoroughly twice per day (morning and night)
- Supervise children’s brushing to ensure that they use of the appropriate amount of toothpaste. Remind them they should not swallow the toothpaste.
- For children 3 to 6 years of age, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Brush teeth twice per day (morning and night). Make sure you monitor them until you are comfortable and sure that they can brush on their own.