You already went through the whole process of giving birth and taking care of your newborn, but a new challenge has popped up – your baby is teething! When do you need to take them to the dentist? What is healthy teething behavior and what isn’t? We at Kruckman Family Dentistry are here to help guide you through this transition period and help you find ways to keep your baby comfortable during their teething process.
When Your Baby is Feeling Discomfort
All babies feel some pain as their teeth grow in, but there are a few ways you can handle the teething process and provide some relief for your little one. For example, rubbing petroleum jelly around the lips and sore areas can provide relief. Invest in a frozen teething ring that does not have floating designs inside. That way, your child cannot chew through the ring and choke on the designs. In a pinch, a wet washcloth your baby can chew on may provide some relief. Some doctors recommend topical teething ointments, but always make sure to check with your doctor before purchasing one of these items.
Some other strategies include:
- Chilled carrots
- Gum massaging
- Chamomile tea
- Clove oil
- Vegetable juice pops
How to Care for Baby Teeth
Your baby’s teeth will stay for a few years and can even affect the health of their adult teeth, so it’s important to keep the baby teeth clean and healthy. In order to take good care of an infant’s teeth, there are a few basic practices to follow. Wipe your baby’s gums once daily with a warm, wet washcloth or damp gauze that has been wrapped around your finger. Once those first few teeth come through, you can begin to introduce an extremely soft-bristled toothbrush and continue to use the washcloth on the areas where the teeth have not yet come through. However, you won’t really need to begin brushing the teeth regularly until your child is eating standard table food and also has a significant number of teeth. This is usually around 18 months old.
Once your child reaches about the age of 2 years, you can start using toothpaste while brushing. You will only need a very, very small amount! Be careful not to use too much, as this can make your child sick. They don’t know what they have in their mouths, so they may try to swallow the toothpaste.
Why Do Baby Teeth Matter?
You know that these aren’t the chompers your little one will have forever, but these teeth do matter quite a bit! They help your child chew their food, enunciate their words clearly, and they keep the spacing accurate for your adult teeth until they are ready to come in. These baby teeth are also valuable practice for adult teeth! Learning good brushing habits as a child can help them learn best brushing practices and care for their adult teeth once those grow in fully.
When Should I Take my Child to the Dentist?
You should schedule your child’s first dentist visit when they are about a year old and start making regular appointments from that point forward. This can help your child become less fearful of the dentist and become more familiar with the cleaning process. Also, going to the dentist early on helps you child develop a regular dentist visit schedule right from the beginning, so it will be easy to keep the pattern going as they grow.
Contact Kruckman Family Dentistry
As you can see, taking care of your child’s teeth starts long before those teeth push their way through the gums. With proper care and extra attention to your child’s oral health, we are sure that your baby can grow to have a pearly white smile and healthy gums that will keep them healthy through their whole lives. If you have any questions about teething and your baby, as well as best dental practices, we would be happy to answer them for you. Our team of professionals is ready to care for you and your child in any way we possibly can to ensure your health. We are here to help you and your child achieve the brightest and best smile possible! Contact us today to schedule your appointment.