A child’s developmental years have an enormous impact on his or her whole life. Baby teeth, although not permanent, are incredibly important for development and good oral health as a child grows. Knowing how best to care for your baby’s teeth can help him or her have a healthy, happy childhood.
Your baby has 20 primary teeth already present at birth, although they do not appear until later. Most often the first, commonly the two upper or lower central incisors, will erupt between 4 and 7 months. But each child is different, depending on heredity and other factors. Teething can be accompanied by mild irritability, excessive drooling, and a desire to chew on hard things. Fever, rash, and diarrhea are not normal. Gently rubbing your baby’s gums with a clean finger or moist gauze pad can be soothing.
Once teeth appear, it is important to bring your baby into our office for a checkup. Tooth decay can occur as soon as teeth erupt, so it is important to keep them clean. Tooth decay in small children is known broadly as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. Some factors include overexposure to sugary drinks from a bottle and passage of cavity-causing bacteria from a caregiver to the child through saliva. Decay can also occur when a baby is put to bed with a bottle. Use bottles only for milk or formula, don’t dip pacifiers in honey or sugar, and don’t share spoons with your child or clean pacifiers with your mouth.
Your baby’s oral health is an important element of his or her overall wellness. Please contact Drs. Timothy Ross & Susan Chmiel in Franklin, Wisconsin, to give your baby a great head start.