Start Early, Start Right
The Fundamentals of Oral Care for Kids
Healthy teeth are key to a healthy childhood: kids need them for chewing, speaking clearly, and having a bright smile.
Thanks to advances in dentistry and oral care products, today's children are more likely than ever to grow up with strong, healthy teeth. So, whether you're teaching your children how to brush properly or taking them to the dentist for a check up, remember that it's up to you to set a good example. and don't forget to praise your child afterwards for clean teeth and a healthy smile!
When do my Baby's Teeth Start Developing?
Your baby's first teeth will begin to develop about three months into your pregnancy. And the healthier your diet is, the greater the likelihood that your baby's teeth and gums will be healthy too. Fluoride supplement to the pregnant mother helps to strengthen the developing teeth- discuss this with your gynecologist.
When will my Baby's Teeth Start to Appear?
The schematic below shows the average number of months for teeth to erupt/appear (on the left of the dotted line) and the average age (in years) in which they are shed/lost, to be replaced by permanent teeth appear in the child.
How should I Care for my Infant's Teeth and Gums?
Even before your baby's teeth appear, it's a good idea to start caring for them.
After feeding your baby, use a damp washcloth or piece of gauze to wipe the gums- this will remove any plaque that has formed. Once teeth appear, brush after feeding with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
What is "baby bottle tooth decay?"
If a baby is breast-fed on demand, or put to bed with a bottle containing milk (even breast milk), formula, or juice, the sugar in the drink and the bacteria in your baby's mouth can interact to form an acid that attacks the enamel of your baby's teeth and may cause tooth decay.
When Should I First Take my Baby to the Dentist?
Try to schedule your child's first dental visit sometime between the eruption of the first tooth and one year of age. The dentist will check your child's teeth, gums and jaw for any problems and show you the right way to clean and care for your child's teeth.
How can I Help Keep my Child's Teeth Cavity-Free?
Children are much more at risk of developing cavities than adults.
Reviewed by Dr. Geoffrey Melman,