Monroe Family Dentistry’s’ Guide to Healthy Teeth from Babyhood to Adulthood
Here’s what your family dentist in Greensville, SC wants you to know about your child’s teeth, every step of the way
Caring for your baby’s teeth starts before their teeth even come in! Many parents don’t realize that their new baby has less saliva than they do as adults. Saliva production is integral in helping rid the mouth of bacteria. Running a warm damp washcloth or gauze pad along your newborn’s gums can help remove leftover milk in the mouth. And the earlier that parents get their children used to tooth and gum care, the easier it will be to transition to dentist’s visits later on. But that’s not the only thing parents should know about healthy teeth from babyhood to adulthood. The team at Monroe Family Dentistry (your family dentist in Greenville, SC) has put together this handy guide to help parents understand what to do for oral care through each developmental phase of their child’s life.
Dental Care from Birth Onward
As suggested earlier, caring for your child’s teeth and gums starts when they’re just newborns. That care evolves as they get older. We’ve made it easy for parents with this helpful guide on what you need to know every step of the way. And it all starts by educating parents on the stages of tooth eruption.
1. Bring your child for their first dentist appointment either by their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth coming in.
Babies are born with a complete set of 20 teeth lying just below the gum line. And that first tooth will likely erupt before your child reaches six months. The first teeth to erupt are the incisors, the upper and lower front teeth. Your child will get their primary molars between the ages of 10 to 14 months, and the canine teeth which sit between the incisors and molars will come in by 22 months of age. In most children, those large molars are last to erupt, coming in by 33 months.
If you wonder when to bring a baby in for their first dental visit, the answer might be sooner than you think. We recommend that your child have their first trip to the dentist within six months of their first tooth coming in or by their first birthday, whichever comes first. This first visit will take about 30-45 minutes. You and your child’s dentist will discuss their health history during that time, and the dentist will spend time getting to know you. Further, we’ll provide information about baby bottle tooth decay, mouth cleaning, teething, best practices for infant feeding, what you should know about pacifier usage, and thumb-sucking habits. Finally, we will do a brief oral examination.
2. Here’s what to expect in dental development from birth to age five.
Practicing good oral habits can prevent or reduce dental decay in infants and children. Continue to wash your child’s gums daily with a damp washcloth. Your baby will most likely get their first tooth between six to eight months. Once that first tooth comes in, you can use a child’s soft-bristled toothbrush, with no toothpaste, to brush the new teeth and help your baby get used to a toothbrush in their mouth.
For infants and toddlers, be aware of bottle decay. Sometimes referred to as baby bottle decay or nursing bottle tooth decay, this type of dental decay occurs when a child goes to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. If your child needs a bottle to fall asleep, stick to water instead. Parents should keep in mind that cavities aren’t uncommon in kids younger than five years of age. Periodically, lift your child’s lip to check for questionable white or brown spots on their teeth. If these spots are visible, it could mean your child has tooth decay, so be sure to request an appointment with your family dentist in Greenville, SC, as soon as possible.
3. Here’s what to expect for your child’s teeth and gums from age five to 14
Before your child reaches their teenage years, they will develop their second set of teeth. These teeth usually start to come in around age six and are present by age 14. In some cases, your child may also develop wisdom teeth which typically pop through after age 17. Since your child’s mouth is so busy growing teeth, it is essential to maintain regular dental visits to ensure a complete oral examination and dental cleaning every six months. Additionally, your child should have an early orthodontic evaluation around age seven. Your child’s dentist can sometimes conduct this, or your dentist may refer your child to an orthodontist. During this evaluation, the dentist will evaluate their teeth alignment, discuss proper oral hygiene habits, and look for areas of concern that may need immediate or future treatment.
If your child is involved in sports, it is important to let your dentist know about this. Most dentists will recommend a sports mouthguard for kids involved in high-contact sports such as football, basketball, and the martial arts. Your child may also benefit from a mouthguard if they participate in gymnastics, baseball, softball, or a variety of other activities where there is a risk of trauma to the mouth.
Are you seeking a family dentist in Greenville, SC for your child?
If you have a new baby or a child in need of a family dentist in Greenville, SC, we’d love to meet you. The team at Monroe Family Dentistry is ready to care for your child’s teeth through all of the stages of tooth eruption – from before those baby teeth come in to their permanent teeth development.
Not only do we offer regular hygiene care, but we can provide treatment if your child develops a toothache or requires any preventive or restorative dentistry treatments. Before long, you’ll know why we’re the best family dentist in Greensville, SC. Request an appointment for your child today. We look forward to meeting you.