What Every Mom Should Know About Their Child’s Teeth

Closeup of a new baby with dark hair and his eyes closed

If you are a mom with little ones and find yourself wondering about their oral health and what’s to come, here are some answers to questions we are frequently asked at Palos Heights Family Dental about taking care of your child’s precious smile.

When should my child’s teeth erupt?

Babies are born with 20 teeth in their jaw, which usually start erupting through their gums anywhere between six months to a year. Most children have their full set of teeth by the time they are three years old. Check out this teeth eruption chart put together by the American Dental Association!

What are the signs & symptoms of teething?

Teething can be a tough time for parents and babies alike. When their teeth come in, babies can sometimes be fussy, irritable, and sleepless due to tender gums. They can also lose their appetite and drool more than usual. Some symptoms that are not associated with teething, but might be confused as such, include rashes, diarrhea, and fever. If your baby has these symptoms, call your pediatrician.

How can I prevent baby bottle tooth decay?

Baby bottle decay is caused by the prolonged, frequent exposure of your child’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. It often occurs in the upper front teeth. To avoid this condition, never put your baby to sleep with a bottle of milk or fruit juice or use the bottle as a pacifier when they are fussy. Moreover, don’t let them walk around unattended with a bottle.

Aerial view of two babies sucking on a bottle of milk wearing onesie pajamas on a teal blanket

When should I start brushing my child’s teeth?

Begin brushing your child’s teeth with fluoridated toothpaste when their first tooth starts to erupt to prevent decay. However, even before their tooth erupts, wipe your child’s gums with a moist cloth after meals to get them used to daily dental hygiene.

How much toothpaste should I use to brush my child’s teeth?

It doesn’t take too much toothpaste to clean your child’s teeth. When your child is three and younger, use a tiny dab of toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice). Upgrade to a pea-sized amount when they’re older than three.

When & how often should I floss my child’s teeth?

As soon as your child has at least two teeth that touch, start cleaning between their teeth with dental floss at least once a day.

When should I take my child to the dentist?

Within six months of their first baby tooth erupting or by one-year-old, start bringing your child to see our friendly dental team for biannual dental checkups. The sooner you bring your child, the sooner we can identify if they have any cavities or other dental issues that could become more serious and expensive down the road without treatment. We can also provide you with oral care tips, like how to properly brush your child’s teeth and how much fluoride your child can safely consume. Our dental practice is kid-friendly with complimentary refreshments, a no-cavity club, a treasure chest of prizes, and engaging books and toys.

If you have additional questions about caring for your child’s teeth or would like to schedule their next dental appointment, contact us today!

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What Every Mom Should Know About Their Child’s Teeth was last modified: July 26th, 2018 by Palos Heights Family Dental