It Begins with Baby Teeth
Healthy teeth are important to your child’s growth and development. They help your child eat right, talk properly, and feel good about their smile. Baby teeth hold space for permanent teeth. Keeping baby teeth healthy can also save children from the pain of a cavity – and from the stress caused by the dental visit it may require.
Care Should Start Before Teeth Develop
Most babies begin teething between 4 months and 7 months of age, but you can protect your child’s oral health from birth.
- Don’t put your little one to bed with a bottle of milk, juice, sweetened water, or sugar-laden drinks that can promote tooth decay.
- Wipe your baby’s gums with a damp washcloth or soft infant toothbrush after meals.
- Report any spots and stains on developing teeth to your child’s doctor or dentist.
Maintain a Healthy Mouth Through Childhood
Most of your child’s teeth will come in by age 2. Follow these tips to keep them intact until they fall out naturally, which usually begins around age 6.
- Visit the pediatric dentist between ages 6 months and 1 year, or when your child’s first tooth appears. Take her back as often as the dentist recommends – usually twice a year.
- Feed your child a healthy diet. Think fruits and veggies instead of sugary cookies and candy.
- Brust teeth twice a day with a pea-sized drop of toothpaste. Most children need help brushing until 7 or 8 years of age.