Baby teeth begin to erupt when a child is 5 or 6 months old — or as late as 1 year. These little chompers will begin to multiply until your child has 20 primary (baby) teeth. Not only are baby teeth great for chewing new textures of food, but they’re equally important for developing speech. Can you imagine trying to speak without your teeth? Also called milk teeth, primary teeth are a placeholder for permanent teeth that surface in later years. These baby teeth have a lot to live up to!
Dr. Villani and Dr. Kondrat recommend that your child visit the dentist by one year of age. At this “happy visit,” the dentist will talk to you about the oral health of your child and check for any signs of tooth decay or development issues. He can also demonstrate the proper way to clean your wiggle-worm’s teeth. Even though it may seem impossible, it’s not! Some children may like brushing their teeth if they see Mom or Dad doing it.
The earlier you introduce oral hygiene to your little one, the better. Children will know that brushing teeth is something they must do, like taking a bath to keep their bodies clean. Try buying a toothbrush that has a favorite character on it, like Winnie the Pooh or Buzz from Toy Story. Your child may prefer a toothbrush that plays music. Remember, children should not use adult toothpaste. Children under the age of 2 should use fluoride-free toothpaste. Kids tend to swallow toothpaste, and over time, fluoride can cause white, horizontal lines on teeth. These lines are known as fluorosis. So, make sure you purchase children’s toothpaste, as well as a child’s sized toothbrush, for your baby.
After the initial happy visit, Dr. Villani or Dr. Kondrat will want to see your children every 6 months to evaluate their oral health. Call Brighton Family Dental Group at (617) 562-5210 to schedule visits for the smiles closest to your heart.