Baby teeth start to appear in the mouth between six and nine months of age. These milk teeth help your child eat, speak and also assist the adult teeth to come in straight.
Every baby tooth must be cleaned. Infants can get cavities just like older children and adults. Following all feedings, you should clean your baby’s mouth and teeth.
Use an infant`s soft toothbrush to clean the teeth. If the teeth are too small, then use a piece of gauze or a wet facecloth to wipe the teeth and gums. This prepares your baby early for what should become a lifelong habit of oral hygiene.
- Going to bed with fluids like milk in a bottle can cause a lot of damage to your baby’s teeth. If your baby sleeps with a bottle, fill it with water.
- Following all feedings, you should clean your baby’s mouth and teeth with an infant toothbrush or gauze.
- Letting your baby sleep at the breast or with a bottle of juice, formula or milk can harm your baby’s teeth. The sugar will remain on the child’s teeth throughout the night and can damage the enamel and cause cavities
- If your baby normally falls asleep while feeding, brush his or her teeth before the feeding
Your baby`s first visit to Dr. Steffens should occur by the age of one year, or when the first teeth appear.
Your Baby’s First Visit To Dr. Steffens
Around the age of one or when the first teeth appear, make an appointment for your child to see Dr. Steffens.
- Try playing “dentist.” Count your child’s teeth, and then let him or her count yours. Have fun and explain that this is what Dr. Steffens will be doing soon.
- Explain other things that may happen at Dr. Steffens office, such as an x-ray. Try using non-technical language. For example, “Dr. Steffens may take some pictures of your teeth with her special camera”
- Take your child along with yourself or an older sibling when they go for a routine cleaning. It is an excellent way to make your child comfortable with Dr. Steffens.
- Let your child bring his or her favourite stuffed toy along for support.
- Treat the appointment as a regular routine part of life.
- Be sure to advise Dr. Steffens if your child has any medical problems, such as allergies, medications or bleeding disorders.
Toddlers & Preschoolers
- Limit sugary foods or drinks. Healthy snacks are important
- After eating sticky foods such as raisins, brush your child’s teeth, rinse the mouth with water or serve cheese or carrot sticks or other vegetables to help clean the teeth
- Please don’t let your child constantly sip on sugary liquids, including milk and juice from sippy cups. These liquids should be given at mealtime only.
- Brush your child`s teeth twice daily using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste, rather than swallow it. Have your child rinse with water afterwards.. If your child doesn’t have the co-ordination for proper toothbrushing, brush your child’s teeth first and then let him or her do the final part of the brushing.
- Begin flossing when your child’s teeth are touching.
- Change your child’s toothbrush every three months or immediately after an illness.
- Decay and infection in baby teeth can cause damage to the permanent teeth developing beneath them.
Children and Teens
- Brush twice and floss once per day
- Reduce sugar Intake. Cavities are caused by bacteria that feed on sugar. This forms acid that harms your teeth
- Limit snacking in between meals. In between meals, choose cheese and vegetables. See our healthy snacking section.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
- Wear a mouthguard to protect your valuable teeth when you are playing sports
- Keep in mind that girls usually precede boys in permanent teeth eruption. Therefore, the age estimation of tooth eruption varies between boys and girls.
- Permanent teeth are bigger in size and slightly darker than the baby teeth.