Your baby’s teeth will begin to emerge between the ages of 3-9 months, but most children don’t have a full set of teeth until about 3 years of age. Some babies show little sign of discomfort whereas others experience moderate to severe symptoms. Common symptoms are increased fussiness, restlessness, drooling, sensitive gums, and loss of appetite. To help alleviate your child’s discomfort you can:
- Gently rub the gums with a clean finger
- Rub the gums with a wet gauze pad
- Give your baby a cold teething ring to chew on
How to Clean Your Baby’s Teeth
Baby bottle tooth decay can be a serious problem. When babies drink, their mouths are exposed to sugary liquids that can be damaging. Thus, it is important to know how to care for their emerging teeth in order to set them on a path of lifelong oral health. For optimum oral health follow the below method twice a day (in the morning after breakfast and in the evening after the last feeding of the day.)
- Lay your baby on your lap with their head close to your chest. You should be able to see directly into their mouth.
- Clean gums and teeth by rubbing a clean, damp washcloth along the upper and lower gums.
- When teeth have erupted, brush them two to three times a day using water and a soft bristled toothbrush. Do not use toothpaste.
First Dental Appointment
Your child should have their first dental appointment by one year of age or within 6 months of when their first tooth appeared. Of course, do not hesitate to make a dental appointment earlier if you have any concerns about your baby’s teeth, gums or teething process.
Oral Care for Young Children (Ages 2-7)
Once your child reaches the age of two you can start introducing toothpaste. Be sure to use a small amount (about the size of a pea) of fluoride toothpaste. During these younger years it is important to supervise and help your child with their brushing to ensure they are properly reaching all teeth and not swallowing any toothpaste. A proper brushing should take 2-3 minutes.
If you have any questions regarding your little one’s dental care, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 828.631.3283 or visit us online at davidmcguire.com.
David S. McGuire, DDS