Teeth begin forming in your baby even before birth. All 20 primary teeth – also called baby teeth – are present in the jawbones at birth. The lower two front teeth are the first to break through the gums, sometimes as early as six months after birth. All of your child’s primary teeth usually appear by age three. At Miles of Smiles we offer complete Pediatric dental care to help start your child on a life-long path of dental health.
BABY BOTTLE TOOTH DECAY
Baby bottle tooth decay is a condition that can destroy the primary teeth of an infant or young child. It occurs when the child’s teeth are frequently exposed to sugary liquids for long periods, such as when falling asleep with a bottle. These liquids include milk (even breast milk), formula, fruit juice and other sweetened liquids.
GUM CARE FOR YOUR INFANT
You can begin gum care within the first few days after birth. After each feeding, gently wipe the baby’s gums with a soft, damp washcloth or gauze pad. When the first teeth appear, begin using a children’s soft-bristle toothbrush or gauze pad to clean them. Giving your baby regular cleanings after each meal instills good oral cleaning habits early in life.
THUMBSUCKING, FINGER SUCKING AND PACIFIER USE
Sucking is one of a baby’s natural reflexes. It makes them feel secure and happy. Most children stop sucking on fingers, thumbs and pacifiers between the ages of two and four. If a child does not stop on his or her own, the habit should be discouraged after age four. Once permanent teeth come in (beginning about age six) sucking may cause problems with the proper growth of the mouth and alignment of the teeth. It can also cause changes in the roof of the mouth.
THE FIRST DENTAL VISIT
By putting your child in the proper frame of mind, you can make the first visit to the dentist enjoyable and positive. Explain that dentists and dental hygienists are friendly people who help to keep teeth healthy. Let your child know in advance exactly what is going to happen at the dentist – teeth examination, cleaning, etc. Your dentist will examine your child’s mouth for early signs of decay or other problems. The dentist will also tell you many of the things you’ll need to know about your child’s dental health and care. Your child should visit the dentist by their first birthday or as advised by your dentist.
Dental sealants can provide further protection against cavities. A dental sealant is a clear or shaded plastic material that is painted directly into the grooves on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. This helps to protect these susceptible areas of the teeth, which are hard to reach with a toothbrush and have more peaks and valleys where plaque can accumulate. Ask your dentist if your child can benefit from sealants.
FILLINGS IN PRIMARY (BABY) TEETH
When a cavity is detected a filling will usually be required. We offer the new MagicFil sparkling filling material to make getting a filling a lot more fun for your kids. The colorful material is specifically designed to fill cavities in “primary” teeth then it continues to release fluoride to help keep decay from returning.