Infant Dental Care
Your child's baby teeth are crucial for their development. Like adults, they use their baby teeth to eat and learn to speak. Baby teeth are also essential for the development of their adult teeth. There is a lot of care that goes into baby teeth, both at home and at our pediatric dental office. At Sierra Kids Dentistry, we can provide all of the oral health services and information that you need.
The Importance of Baby Teeth
Baby teeth have a lot of importance in your child’s development. Like adult teeth, baby teeth are essential in chewing, speaking, and having a great smile. In addition, they act as a space holder for the developing adult teeth. Having poor dental health with the baby teeth or losing them too early can cause maldevelopment of the adult teeth. This includes teeth coming in crooked or in a way that makes the mouth too crowded. This would be detrimental for eating, speaking, and other daily activities.
Baby teeth actually start developing before the baby is even born. A mother’s diet and health are critical for baby teeth development. This means ensuring that the diet includes plenty of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins C and D.
There are four stages of dental development in fetuses. The first stage during the sixth week of the pregnancy, when the basic tooth substance starts to form. Around the third or fourth month, the hard tissue surrounding the teeth begins to develop. There are twenty primary teeth that will be under the gums when the baby is born. These will start to come out of the gums (erupt) between six months and one year of age. Generally, these primary teeth will fall out to make room for adult teeth around six years old.
Baby Teeth Care
There are two components to caring for baby teeth; at-home care and dental appointments. You should begin cleaning your baby’s mouth several days after birth. This includes gently wiping your baby’s gums with a moist washcloth or gauze. Once the teeth start to erupt, you can begin brushing them daily with a toothbrush specially designed for infants. You would use a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste; about the size of a grain of rice. Between ages three and six, you can start to use pea-sized dabs of toothpaste on a child-sized toothbrush. Brushing should be done twice daily. You should also start to clean between the teeth once there are two side by side.
Cavities and other dental health issues can occur as soon as the first tooth erupts. Because of this, it is important to start bringing your child in for routine visits at our office. These appointments will include a basic exam and some light cleaning, such as brushing and flossing. Our pediatric dentist will examine for cavities and other dental health issues, as well as the development of the teeth. This includes ensuring that they are in the correct place and erupting normally. Our dentist will also provide information on caring for your child’s teeth at home. To schedule an appointment at our office, contact Sierra Kids Dentistry at (775) 473-1247 today.