As a parent, you should start thinking about your child's oral health before they even get their first tooth. The foundation and habits that you instil in your little one during early childhood can help establish a lifetime of good oral health. The following looks at when you should expect your child to meet certain dental milestones and how you can help them along the way.
Birth to 5 Months:
Even though your child will not have teeth at this point, it is important to clean their gums at least twice a day. This will help prevent bacteria from sticking to the gums that can develop into plaque that can damage the teeth as they erupt. You can clean your baby's gums by using a moist washcloth or a piece of soft gauze.
5 to 6 Months:
Most babies start teething around 5 months of age. The gums typically become swollen and irritated, so your little one may be fussier than normal. You can use cool compresses or teething rings to make your baby more comfortable. The first tooth typically emerges at about 6 months of age.
12 to 14 Months:
Most children get their first molars around the age of 14 months. At this point, they can start eating foods that require more chewing.
2 to 4 Years:
By this age, your child should have their full set of 20 primary teeth. In addition to regular brushing, your child should be seeing a dentist every six months.
5 or 6 Years:
Most children start to lose their primary teeth around this age. The teeth are typically lost in the order that they emerged. If your dentist notices bite or alignment issues with the emerging adult teeth, your child may be referred to an orthodontist.
You child will typically have their full set of adult teeth as they enter their teen years.
Caring for Emerging Teeth:
You should start brushing your child's teeth as soon as they appear. Be sure to choose a toothbrush that has soft bristles, a small head, and a large handle. Start out with a grain-sized amount of toothpaste. You can start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste around the age of 3.
A Morrin Dental, our children's dentistry program will provide your child with dental care and assessment in a fun and reassuring atmosphere. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.