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When should my baby see the dentist for the first time?

Establishing a dental routine for your babies and children provides an early start on a lifetime of excellent oral health. You should schedule a visit with a pediatric dentist when the first tooth breaks through the gums. This typically happens between 6 months and a year. Establishing a dental routine for your child from an early age protects your child’s teeth now and into the future.

Signs of Teething

A normal rite of passage, teething can be a trial for both babies and parents. When infant teeth begin to erupt, babies often become irritable and fussy. They may also drool and lose their interest in eating. Despite what you may hear, rashes, fever and diarrhea are not symptoms of teeth so contact your physician if your baby has these symptoms.

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What kinds of dental issues could a baby experience?

Dental problems at times start early. When a child eats or drinks anything other than breast milk, any new teeth that come in are at risk of decay.

That is why it is important to never let a child fall asleep with a bottle unless it is water. Frequent exposure to drinks with sugar can cause teeth decay, particularly in the upper front teeth. Do not give your child juice in a bottle. Instead, offer juice only in a cup at meal or snack time. Water is always best to quench your child’s thirst.

Also, be sure to wean bottle-fed children between the age of 12 to 14 months.

Early visits to the dentist help to prevent early childhood dental issues. By starting early, your child will have a lifetime of great dental habits.

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Finger or Thumb Sucking: Should Parents Worry?

Any time of thumb or finger sucking typically stops by the age of 2 and is completely normal. Prolonged sucking, however, may possibly cause bite issues or crooked teeth. We recommend a professional evaluation if it continues beyond the age of 3. Check with your pediatric dentist for tips on how to help stop a thumb-sucking habit.

When Should Parents Start Cleaning or Brushing Their Child's Teeth?

Teeth cleaning should begin as early as possible since decay can happen any time teeth begin to appear. For infants, use a soft infant toothbrush or cloth to clean your baby’s gums.

When teeth appear, brush twice daily with an age-appropriate, soft toothbrush and kid’s toothpaste that bears the ADA seal of acceptance. Keep in mind that young children are not able to brush their teeth effectively so supervise and assist during brushing sessions.

Also, be sure to use child-friendly floss to clean between teeth and teach your child as soon as they can handle floss and do it on their own.

How Much Toothpaste Do You Use for Kids?

Kids only need a little amount of toothpaste to clean their teeth. Until your child can brush teeth on their own, use a children-size toothbrush and brush teeth twice daily. For kids younger than three, you only need a rice-grain-sized amount of paste. For kids older than 3, use a pea-sized amount of paste.