Proper dental care begins before a baby’s first tooth appears.
Just because you can’t see the teeth doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Primary teeth help your child to learn to chew, speak properly and most importantly, these teeth reserve the space in your child’s gums for the eruption of their permanent teeth. Primary teeth start to form in your child’s jawbone before birth. A baby’s first primary tooth usually erupts at about six months of age; however, this can occur as early as birth or as late as your child’s first birthday.
The average child has a full set of 20 primary teeth by the age of two to three years. Your child’s first visit to the dentist should be within six months of the eruption of their first tooth, or by their first birthday.
Even before your baby’s teeth appear, you should gently wipe their gums with a moistened soft cloth once a day. Once your baby’s primary teeth start to appear, you should use a toothbrush specially designed for babies, with a small head and soft, rounded bristles to gently massage their teeth and gums. Up to the age of 18 months, your baby’s teeth should be brushed with plain water, once a day after the last feed in the evening.
Tooth brushing for your baby can be done more easily with them lying on a bed or change table. The time taken to brush can be increased slowly until the baby is able to tolerate a two minute brushing as a toddler.
Providing your baby with a clean teething ring or wet washcloth to bite. – Giving your baby non-sweetened rusks to chew on. For more information on teething and oral…Warning to parents – Amber Teething Necklace could be dangerous to your child (ADA, 2011).
For more information on teething and oral hygiene for infants visit www.babyteeth.com.au