Posts for: February, 2014
The discomfort of teeth coming into the mouth can cause your baby to become irritable. You can ease some of the discomfort by lightly rubbing the baby's gums with a clean finger or a wet, soft cloth. A cool teething ring can also help to soothe your baby's tender gums.
When the first teeth appear, begin using a children's soft-bristle toothbrush to clean them on a daily basis. Give your baby regular oral cleanings after each meal to make dental health care a habit.
Teeth begin forming in your baby even before birth. Here is when you can expect to begin seeing them:
- Central incisor (front two upper and bottom teeth): 6-12 months
- Lateral incisor (the two teeth flanking the upper and bottom front two teeth): 9-16 months
- Canines (pointy teeth in the upper jaw): 16-23 months
- First molars (upper and bottom back teeth): 13-19 months
- Second molars (upper and bottom back teeth): 22-33 months
All 20 primary teeth — also called baby teeth — are present in the jawbones at birth. The lower two front teeth are usually the first to erupt. This most often occurs somewhere around 6 months after birth. Do not be concerned if your baby is a little late. The numbers here are only an average. By age 3, all 20 primary teeth should be present.
Good dental health should begin at birth. After each feeding, gently wipe the baby's gums with a soft, clean and damp washcloth or gauze pad.
Once your baby's teeth begin to appear, you need to take extra care that these new teeth do not develop cavities. Babies can develop teeth cavities through "nursing bottle mouth," which is caused by extended nursing on milk, formula or juices, especially at bedtime or naptime. You should not use a feeding bottle as a pacifier. If you must give your baby a bottle at bedtime or naptime, make sure it contains plain water. You should not give a baby a pacifier that has been dipped in anything sugary.
Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children's Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. National Children’s Dental Health Month messages and materials have reached millions of people in communities across the country.
Developing good habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.