A parent’s number one concern is for their child’s health and safety. All of us went through the experience of losing our baby teeth; it’s often remembered as an exciting time: a sign that we were growing up, and a great way of getting money from the tooth fairy. The perspective of a parent is of course a bit different; we want to make sure the teeth are growing in appropriately, and that our child’s gums and teeth are doing well. Knowledge is the enemy of fear, so educate yourself on your child’s dental development by reading these things you need to know.
- How to Care for Baby Teeth
Baby teeth can start coming in when your child is 4 months old; generally speaking, the first tooth doesn’t erupt until about 6 months. The first baby tooth may not appear until your child is a year old, or even older; this isn’t necessarily indicative of a problem, so long as your child’s development seems healthy otherwise. Any concerns you have about your child’s teeth can always be addressed with a dentist. Pain in the gums during teething can be alleviated by rubbing the gums with a clean finger, or a small, cool spoon; if the crying won’t stop and the pain seems too much, you can visit your child’s dentist or pediatrician to get safe painkillers. Do not give your child teething biscuits, and don’t use topical painkillers on your child’s gums, as your child may swallow it. All twenty baby teeth should be present by age two or three.
- How to Care for Permanent Teeth
The first adult teeth to come in are the molars; these teeth don’t replace baby teeth, so no teeth should fall out when they come in. These teeth usually come in around the age of six or seven; shortly afterwards, permanent teeth will begin replacing baby teeth. Wiggling loose baby teeth is not only permissible, it’s almost unavoidable – whether with their tongue or their finger, your child will almost certainly wiggle a loose tooth. Baby teeth should come out on their own; do not force a baby tooth out, you should absolutely not tie the tooth to a doorknob and then slam the door. Permanent teeth look more yellow than baby teeth, so don’t worry!
- How to Teach Your Child Oral Hygiene
Teaching your children about their dental health is a great way to avoid disease and decay in the future. First, show them by example, by being sure to brush your teeth twice a day, and floss once a day. Brush their teeth for them when they are young, and incorporate tooth brushing into their nightly ritual. Explain to them the benefits of a healthy mouth, and give them good techniques like the two-minute rule.
Your child will carry their dental habits into adulthood, so be sure they know how important it is to see a dentist regularly. Go to a recognized dental office to book an appointment for you and your child on the same day, so they understand that everyone needs to see the dentist!