Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Baby Teeth

Look at my new teeth!
A child's primary teeth, sometimes called "baby teeth" are as important as the permanent adult teeth.  Primary teeth typically begin to appear when a baby is between age six months and a one year.  Primary teeth help children chew & speak.  They also hold the space  in the jaws for the permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. The American Dental Association (ADA), recommends that a dentist examine a child within six months after the first tooth comes in and no later than the first birthday. A dental visit at an early age is a "well baby checkup" for the teeth. Besides checking for tooth decay & other problems, the dentist can show you how to clean the child's teeth properly and how to evaluate any adverse habits such as thumb-sucking & pacifier use.

Consequences of thumb-sucking &/or pacifier use
 The Teething Cycle
When teeth first come in, some babies may have sore or tender gums.  Gently rubbing your child's gums with a clean finger, a small, cool spoon or a wet gauze pad can be soothing.  You can also give the baby a clean teething ring to chew on.
If your child is still cranky & in pain, consult your dentist of physician.  Most children have a full set of 20 primary teeth by the time they are three years old.
Primary Teeth Eruption Chart
Keeping Your Child's Teeth Healthy
Begin cleaning the baby's mouth during the first few days after birth.  After every feeding, wipe the baby's gums with a clean gauze pad.This removes plaque (a sticky film of bacteria ) and residual food that can harm erupting teeth.
As soon as the teeth appear in the mouth, tooth decay can occur.  Therefore, when your child's teeth begin to erupt, brush them gently with a child's size toothbrush & water.  Brush the teeth of children over the age two with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.  Be sure they spit out the toothpaste and rinse with water.
The Beginning of Good Oral Hygiene!

Infants should finish their bedtime and naptime bottle before going to bed.  If you use a pacifier, use a clean one. NEVER dip in sugar of honey before giving it to a baby.

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