Isn’t it so cute when your little one starts getting little toofies. I’m not referring to the sleepless nights and miserable baby moments as the teeth are coming in. I love seeing babies that have 2 little teeth on the bottom, but watch out, those suckers are sharp! Of course with everything every child develops at their own pace and way. Some get their top 2 teeth before the lowers. Some come in very early, and some really late. Here is a tooth chart of what is “normal”
I have included a good guide to the do’s and don’ts to oral care for babies and toddlers.
- When the first teeth erupt start brushing your baby’s teeth 2-3 times per day. Use a starter toothpaste, or just water if he/she is resistant to the paste. Use a special baby toothbrush (sold in any retail store, pharmacy, or online) As they get to be a toddler and want to everything themselves, go ahead, let them. Then go over it for yourself too.
- Bring your child t
o see the dentist between ages 1-2 years old. It is recommended by age 1. I waited until age 2 with both of my boys and everything went great. I felt at age 1 they were not ready to sit in the chair just yet. I also knew I had been brushing their teeth and was following my own rules of the do’s and don’ts.
- Your child’s pacifier (binky, paci, plug, whatever cute name you are using) Will not cause major orthodontic issues later. So don’t let this be a reason you don’t use one.
- Fluoride toothpaste is safe to use when a toddler can spit. If your child is swallowing too much toothpaste with fluoride it could lead to Fluorosis.
Fluorosis can leave ugly staining on the teeth. If you have “city water” which contains fluoride, you still need a toothpaste with flouride in it. The reason is, the water that you drink allows the fluoride to be ingested (internal) the fluoride from the toothpaste is topical (external) we need both. If you have well water, you need to let your dentist and/or pediatrician know, because you may need to have fluoride prescribed to you.
- Don’t ever use a medium or hard bristled brush on your baby (or yourself). Brushing too hard or bristles that are too hard can cause damage to your gums.
- Don’t and I can NOT stress this one enough… Give your baby a bottle or sippy cup in their crib or bed. The only liquid that will not cause damage to their teeth is water. Many people get confused and think only juice is bad, but no, milk/formula, is just as bad. They both contain sugar and can do severe damage to the baby’s teeth!!!!
- Do not use a mouthwash for babies or toddlers. As they grow and are a little older a mouthwash that does NOT contain alcohol will be okay, just not as babies or toddlers.
- Your child’s dentist may recommend sealants. Sealants are protection for the teeth. It is a very light, clear/white-ish, paste that gets brushed over the teeth (in all of those nooks and crannies) It helps defend against germs & sugar from damaging (causing cavities) the teeth. Something that I would highly recommend you do.