Welcome to this beautiful, exciting, and sometimes scary thing we like to call motherhood! We are well aware that as a new mom you have a laundry list of questions regarding your child’s health. We understand that they are mostly about diaper rash, sleeping patterns, or feeding but did you know you should also start thinking about your child’s dental health? Check out our list of the most commonly asked new mom questions:
When can I expect teeth to appear?
Baby teeth, or often referred to as primary teeth, start to erupt or come through the gum tissue around 4-6 months. The bottom two front teeth are usually first, but do not worry if that is not the same for your child. Baby teeth do not always follow a strict pattern.
Will a pacifier really affect my child’s baby and/or adult teeth?
Pacifiers and thumbsucking are natural reflexes for children. Sucking on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers or other objects tend to make babies feel secure and happy. And if we’re being honest these items can make parents pretty happy as well! The truth is that pacifiers can affect the teeth especially those children that vigorously suck their thumbs or pacifiers for a prolonged period of time. That’s why Dr. Will and Dr. Mike at Kids Teeth suggest eliminating the pacifier by the age of two.
Continuing pacifier use after the age of two can cause a “narrowing palate” – this refers to the narrowing of the roof of the mouth. A narrow palate can affect the way your child bites down as well as cause speech issues. When your child is first seen by a Pediatric Dentist (around the age of 12-18 months), it’s important to disclose this type of habit so the doctor can keep a close eye on it and watch the mouth development over time. We understand habits are hard to break for children and their parents. Therefore, we provide realistic suggestions and expectations for helping eliminate habits.
We recommend that you start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they are visible because they are now being exposed to simple sugars whether you are nursing or bottle feeding.
How do I brush my baby’s teeth?
Lay your baby down on the bed or changing table and stand behind them. Use an infant toothbrush and just massage along the gumline. Brushing morning and night is most effective for fighting cavities.
Can nighttime nursing or bottle feeding cause cavities?
Yes! Brushing after each nighttime feeding is incredibly important because brushing prevents milk from sitting on your baby’s teeth overnight. Even if there is only a small part of the tooth visible, make sure to wipe with a burp cloth. If bottle feeding, DO NOT put your child to bed with milk. Formula or breastmilk has sugars that can grow cavities just like solid foods, constant exposure increases their risks for cavities.
When do I take my child to their first dental appointment?
1st Birthday = 1st Visit! It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that children see a pediatric dentist on or before his/her first birthday in order to prevent future dental problems. And don’t forget – all children under the age of 18 months are complimentary at Kids Teeth.
Accidents happen, and we can help…
Once babies are mobile it is very easy for accidents to happen, and unfortunately the mouth and face usually take the brunt of the injury. A bump that results in bleeding gums or lips are fairly typically for young children, do not be alarmed by the amount of blood present. The bleeding will subside within 5-10 minutes and then you can evaluate the teeth. If they are not in a different position or wiggly, there is no need to worry. Just get them cleaned up and on their way. If you have further concern, Kids Teeth is an emergency dental practice. That means we have a doctor on call 24/7 to tend to injuries to the mouth, handle tooth chips, or displacement. Just call either office number and follow the prompts (if after hours).