The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a dental checkup by a child’s first birthday. “Baby teeth” start to appear between six and twelve months of age, and good oral hygiene should begin immediately to avoid later problems, such as cavities and tooth loss.
The Arrival of New Teeth
Between six months and three years of age, children will acquire all of their temporary or “baby” teeth. Sore and delicate gums are common complaints during this time. The pain and irritability of tooth eruption, commonly known as “teething,” can cause children to become irritable and uncomfortable, often resulting in low-grade fever and general feelings of malaise. Teething rings and cool, dampened cloths rubbed over the gums often provide relief from teething pain. Talk to your dentist if teething pain does not improve in a few days.
Establishing Oral Hygiene Routines
Sugary foods and drinks, such as fruit juices, can quickly affect new teeth and cause tooth decay in children. Regular examination of the child’s teeth, along with brushing after every meal, is the best way to prevent tooth decay. Use soft brushes to avoid irritation and non-fluoride toothpastes to prevent swallowing of potentially harmful fluoride chemicals. While children are younger than eight years of age, parents should supervise brushing and gentle flossing after every meal, especially early in the morning and before bedtime.
Routine Dental Visits
Our Northridge dentist should see your child a minimum of twice year for oral checkups and tooth cleanings. While fluoride toothpastes are not recommended for in-home use by children, due to the danger of swallowing, yearly fluoride treatments in the dentist’s office are safe for children and can significantly reduce tooth decay and discoloration. A commitment to your child’s total dental health on the part of you and your dentist will result in bright, healthy smiles and happy children.
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