OUCH that hurt!!February 23, 2012
Isn’t he the cutest baby ever? That’s my unbiased opinion- it has nothing to do with the fact that the baby in the picture is my grandson Aaron. He’s now 10 months old and everyday brings new surprises as he starts to explore the world around him and learn new things. His latest trick is using those new teeth of his to bite anything he can get his hands on- including my fingers!!
I usually wouldn’t include pictures of my grandchild in my dental blog but February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. The American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors this event every year, to raise awareness about the importance of oral health, There are more and more medical studies that show the association between oral health and your general health. The care of your teeth is important not only to keep that smile looking good but to help keep your whole body healthy. The earlier we can teach good oral hygiene habits to our children the better.
Your child’s primary teeth, sometimes called “baby teeth,” are as important as the permanent adult teeth. Primary teeth typically begin to appear when a baby is between age six months and one year. Primary teeth help children chew and speak. They also hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums. The ADA recommends that a dentist examine a child within six months after the first tooth comes in and no later than the first birthday. A dental visit at an early age is a “well baby checkup” for the teeth. Besides checking for tooth decay and other problems, the dentist can show you how to clean the child’s teeth properly and how to evaluate any adverse habits such as thumb sucking.
The Teething Cycle
When teeth first come in, some babies may have sore or tender gums. Gently rubbing your child’s gums with a clean finger, a small, cool spoon or a wet gauze pad can be soothing. You can also give the baby a clean teething ring to chew on. If your child is still cranky and in pain, consult your Higganum dentist or physician. Most children have a full set of 20 primary teeth by the time they are three years old.
Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy
Begin cleaning the baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth. After every feeding, wipe the baby’s gums with a clean gauze pad. This removes plaque (a sticky film of bacteria) and residual food that can harm erupting teeth.
As soon as teeth appear in the mouth, tooth decay can occur. Therefore, when your child’s teeth begin to erupt, brush them gently with a child’s size toothbrush and water. Brush the teeth of children over age two with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Be sure they spit out the toothpaste and rinse with water. (I don’t suggest using fluoride toothpaste before age two.)
Infants should finish their bedtime and naptime bottle before going to bed. If you use a pacifier, use a clean one. Never dip a pacifier in sugar or honey before giving it to a baby.
And of course feel free to call us with any questions or concerns 860-345-2282.
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