Many parents assume that since baby teeth fall out anyway, there is little point in worrying about them. Yet pediatric dental care is an essential part of keeping your child healthy. In addition, establishing strong oral care routines in childhood can set your child on the road to a lifetime of good oral health. Here is what you need to know about pediatric dental care.
Every child is unique, but on average, the first baby tooth will emerge at 4 to 7 months of age, while the last will erupt just before the third birthday. Teething pain and fussiness are common, along with biting behavior, drooling, swollen gums, and lack of appetite. Symptoms normally start 3 to 5 days before a new tooth comes in and end as soon as it breaks through the gums.
To help calm teething issues, give your baby something cold to chew. Teething rings are extremely popular, but it is important to ensure that the fluid inside is nontoxic, as some babies bite through the cover. Rub your baby’s gums regularly with clean gauze.
First Visit/Establishment of a Dental Home
Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care. Referral by the pediatrician or health provider is highly recommended, as early as six months of age and no later than 12 months. We will tailor this appointment to your child’s personality and needs. The first visit will be a quick examination and fluoride varnish application in addition to a very extensive educational and preventive component.
Tooth decay can begin with the very first tooth. Gently brush your baby’s teeth with a small toothbrush and an smear of fluoride-free toothpaste. Once he learns to spit, typically at around 2 years old, increase the quantity of toothpaste to a pea size.
Learning by Example
Kids pay more attention to what you do than to what you say. Take the opportunity to make a renewed commitment to your own oral health. Reduce your sugar intake and increase the amount of water you drink. Have any nagging dental problems corrected, and make twice a year dental appointments for yourself as well as your child.
Want to Learn More?
If you are ready to start your child’s journey toward a lifetime of dental health, contact Andover Pediatric Dentistry today at 978-296-4964 (Andover office) or 978-682-3342 (Lawrence office).