If you’re wondering how to care for your child’s baby teeth, you’re not alone. Moms and dads all over the world are asking questions, researching on the Internet, and wondering how to create good dental habits for their little ones. Fortunately, it’s easier than you think! Consider the following frequently asked questions concerning baby teeth and dental care:
“Since my child’s baby teeth are going to fall out, do I really need to clean them?”
Yes! Baby teeth play an important role in your child’s development. They allow him to speak clearly, chew new foods, and act as a place holder for permanent teeth. Baby teeth will fall out naturally, but you don’t want them to fall out early due to tooth decay. Introducing good dental care to your child at a young age will help him develop good dental habits for life.
“When should I start brushing my child’s teeth?”
You can start brushing your child’s baby teeth with a soft baby toothbrush once several teeth have broken through the gums. Use a pea-sized amount of training toothpaste (fluoride-free, sugar-free, safe-to-swallow toothpaste). Once your child turns 3-years-old and understands how to spit the tooth paste out instead of swallowing it, you can start brushing his teeth with fluoride toothpaste (again, only a pea-sized amount).
“Why is it bad to let my child go to bed with his bottle?”
Many pediatricians encourage parents not to let their child go to bed with his bottle. This is due to a dental problem called Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (BBTD). If baby teeth are exposed to sugary liquids for a prolonged amount of time, the teeth are more prone to tooth decay. BBTD can lead to ear infections, early loss of baby teeth, pain, and more.
“When should I make an appointment for my child to visit the dentist?”
Bring your child to the dentist once all his baby teeth have come in, which is usually around age 3. At our office, we provide “Happy Visits” for your child to help him realize how fun going to the dentist can be! He will enjoy a ride in the exam chair, looking at cartoons while we count his teeth, and a complementary balloon.