Your baby’s smile

added on: December 12, 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Johnson’s assistant, Lauren, who gave birth to a beautiful baby boy on December 7, 2016!!

Baby teeth care is very important. Even before the baby has teeth, be sure to wipe the baby’s gums with a damp cloth. This will get the baby use to having something in his/her mouth and help prevent infections like candidiasis or a fungal infection. When teeth start to erupt, you can upgrade to a toothbrush with a large handle, soft bristles and a small toothbrush head. A dry brush should be used initially.  A pea sized amount of toothpaste can be used starting at the age of two, or when the child is learning to spit. A fluoride toothpaste should be avoided until age 3, and an adult should fully monitor child with tooth brushing until the child has perfected spitting.

Dental visits can start at as little as age one, with or without dental issues. Most children will allow an exam and a cleaning by age 3, but earlier visits can get the child associated with the dental offices (smells, sounds, etc). Bringing your child to a visit when you come in is a great idea!

Be sure to educate yourself when you are pregnant. There are pamphlets available and your dentist can help with answering any questions you may have. Baby teeth care, teething, thumb sucking, and fluoride are a few topics to address.

Common signs of teething include higher temperature, drooling, fussiness and swollen gums. Teething rings, rubbing the gums and topicals like Orajel can assist your baby with comfort while he or she is teething.

Baby bottle tooth decay is common in children who have sweetened drinks in their bottle. In addition to brushing the teeth, the only thing that should be placed in a baby’s bottle is formula, breast milk or water. And water only at night. It mainly affects the four front teeth due to bottle placement, but sweetened beverages in excess can cause decay on all erupted teeth. Avoid dipping pacifiers in anything sweet.

Babies have a natural urge to suck. Thumb sucking may be soothing for your baby and usually is not a problem prior to age 4. As your child ages, if this becomes a habit a few ideas of breaking the habit include talking to your child about their problem, reminding them they should not suck their thumb when you find them doing so, providing them with something else to do with their hands like a toy or stress ball, and keeping in mind that it is a habit and it is hard to break. Limiting the thumb sucking to nap or sleep time is a good start to get the child to discontinue their habit before it does affect their teeth and/or speech.

Keep in mind that healthy baby teeth will help with healthy adult tooth development.

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