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One of the most exciting milestones during the first year: your baby’s first tooth has arrived! Now what?! Here’s what you need to know about baby’s first teeth to keep them looking like new:
Which baby teeth come in first?
Here’s a handy graphic from the American Dental Association. Remember that every child may not follow the order exactly. This is just a general guide. First teeth can start coming in as early 6 months of age or as late as 14 months.
Why are baby teeth so important?
Baby teeth hold space in the mouth for future teeth. If baby teeth come out too early, it makes it difficult for permanent teeth to find room, which can lead to crowding.
How (and when) should you be brushing your baby’s teeth?
Even before teeth come in, you can form a habit of cleaning the gums after feeding. They’ll be more receptive to brushing if you form the habit early. This post from Theresa’s Review’s talks about some great products including an Oral Care Rabbit that you can use from day one.
Once you teeth arrive, use a child size brush and a very small amount of toothpaste. You want to brush 2-3 times per day. You may want to use a toddler training toothpaste if you are worried about swallowing.
If any of the teeth are touching, you’ll need to floss between them. Even if they aren’t touching, flossing is a good habit to start early!
Here’s a cute song to use with your baby when you brush:
Brush, Brush, Brush Our Teeth
When should you take your baby to the dentist for the first time?
The American Dental Association suggests: After the first tooth comes in and no later than the first birthday. This can vary greatly based on your child’s personality and their level of stranger danger. I suggest asking your pediatrician for their opinion. They may also have some basic tips for taking care of your baby’s first teeth before you take them to the dentist for the first time.
When looking for a dentist, check with other moms for recommendations. There are many pediatric dentists that specialize in children. Some family dentists will see children as well, so you may want to ask your current dentist!
Looking for more fun? Check out these tooth crafts and activities!