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Your Baby’s Teeth, What You Need to Know

Some patients may think that caring for their baby’s teeth doesn’t matter, but the moment an infant’s teeth first erupt, those teeth are as susceptible to decay as a child’s tooth, regardless of whether the baby has one tooth or twenty.

Each baby is born with about twenty teeth below their gums. The first tooth generally appears six months to a year later. Caring parents who want to build a strong foundation for a lifetime of healthy, confident smiles, start with the very first tooth.

How Do I Soothe My Teething Baby?

When a baby’s teeth are first starting to erupt, the baby will let you know. Teething babies become fussier, droolier, and have difficulty sleeping. To help your baby feel better, you can try gently applying a cold spoon (only before the first tooth erupts to avoid chipping) or washcloth to their gums. You may want to invest in a teething toy.

Should I Use Toothpaste?

Once the baby’s first tooth or teeth appear, you’ll want to invest in a fluoride toothpaste with an ADA seal of Acceptance. You can find toothpastes that are especially made for babies. For advice on specific brands, talk to Dr. Rosenfeld. When brushing your baby’s teeth, be sure to use the right amount of toothpaste. For an infant who’s 0-3 years old, the amount of toothpaste should be about the size of a grain of rice.

When Should I Take My Baby to the Dentist?

You should schedule your baby’s first appointment at around the baby’s first birthday after the teeth have started to show.

What Else Can I Do To Help Prevent Decay or Cavities?

As soon as your baby has teeth that are next to each other, you should start flossing between them. To avoid prolonged exposure to the sugars that can cause tooth decay, never leave your baby with a bottle overnight. Avoid sharing utensils or germs with your baby, because decay-causing bacteria can transfer from one mouth to another.

For more tips or to get your specific questions answered, contact Dr. Rosenfeld.

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