It's hard to believe that your baby is already teething.
It seems like they were born just yesterday, and now they are trying to gnaw on everything in sight!
Here at North Brisbane Dental Clinic, we know how tough it can be when your baby starts getting teeth.
That's why we've put together a blog post for new parents about what you need to know about baby teeth and how to care for them.
Your baby's first teeth
You can expect your baby's first teeth to appear at around 4- 6 months of age.
It can be challenging to tell what teeth your baby has erupted because they are so small! You might not even notice the change in behaviour that comes with teething, like a sudden lack of sleep or fussing during feeds.
They are usually the lower central incisors that come through first, but sometimes baby teeth will pop up in other places too!
How to prevent tooth decay
Just like your teeth, your baby's teeth can decay.
This is caused by bacteria. The acid from the bacteria damages the enamel on their tooth before it has a chance to grow.
One of the best ways to protect them is eating healthy and not eating too many sugary foods.
Some examples of food that can lead to tooth decay if consumed regularly include:
sweets and chocolate
ice cream, lollies and iceblocks
Fruit juice with added sugar or that has had the fibre removed.
Teaching baby to brush
Your baby must learn how to brush their teeth. You can start by giving them a toothbrush to chew on. They won't use it properly, but give it to them, and they will probably chew on it. If you can get them to put the brush in their mouth, then you are on the right track!
When you bathe your child, put a face washer over your finger. Then rub their teeth with it. It will make them feel better and will clean their teeth.
When kids are 12-24 months old, you can introduce them to a regular toothbrush. If they can take toothpaste, use a pea-sized amount. Just make sure the toothpaste you’re using is suitable for their age.
If they can't take toothpaste, just use water on the brush.
The mechanical action of the toothbrush is more important than the content of the toothpaste.
Should you use toothpaste for babies?
It is not necessary to use toothpaste for babies.
You can introduce it when the baby is about six months old, but this is up to you. The most important thing is to get your child used to the motion of brushing their teeth. And make sure you’re using toothpaste that is appropriate for their age. You’ll be able to find this information on the toothpaste packaging.
Should I Brush My Baby's Gums?
When your baby is teething, they will naturally want to chew on things, so brushing their gums is entirely unnecessary. We find the most popular teething toys are the liquid-filled teething rings you keep in the fridge. Babies love chewing on something nice and cold!
What Kind of Toothbrush Should My Child Use?
The softer, the better! Toothbrushes designed for infant use have very soft bristles. The last thing we want is for toothbrushing to be too aggressive or painful for your little one.
When Should My Child Have Their First Dental Checkup?
I recommend booking your child in for their first dental appointment when they’re three years old. Check out this blog post for some great tips about how to make sure your little one has a great experience on their first visit to the dentist!
Caring for your baby's teeth may seem daunting at first, but the important thing is to keep things simple and consistent.
By following the tips we've listed, you'll be able to make sure your baby's teeth stay healthy and strong.
Still have questions about your little one's teeth?
Book an appointment to see the team at North Brisbane Dental Clinic.