Nothing in the world is more precious than your child’s smile. And as a parent, one of your responsibilities is making sure your child’s teeth are healthy. Here is some important information to keep in mind and steps to take in order to make sure your child’s teeth are as healthy as possible.
When do Baby Teeth Start to Form?
Did you know that a baby’s 20-primary teeth are already present in the jaws at birth? The teeth usually begin to show six months to a year after birth but it’s not uncommon for teeth to show sooner. While every child is different, most children have a full set of 20-primary teeth by the time they are three years old.
The order in which the teeth appear can vary but they typically follow the same pattern. The front teeth in both the upper and lower jaw are the first to show while the molars are the last and start to appear nearly a year after the first teeth show. It’s important to keep in mind that the time and order of your children’s teeth appearing can differ, so it’s not the end of the world if your child’s teeth are taking longer than usual to show.
What to do When Your Babies Teeth Start to Form
Teething can be an uncomfortable time for your baby. Their gums can become sore and tender, causing your baby to become cranky, and no one likes a cranky baby. Gently rubbing your child’s gum with a clean finger or a clean spoon can be very soothing for your child.
If your child still shows sign of discomfort, it might be time to consider calling your dentist.
Why are Baby Teeth Important?
Since baby teeth eventually give way to permanent adult teeth, it may be easy to disregard your child’s dental hygiene. I mean, they’re going to be losing those teeth eventually right? However, baby teeth are a crucial part of your child’s health and development.
These baby teeth can last up to 10-years and hold the space in their jaws for permanent teeth that are growing under their gums. Without proper care and good oral hygiene practices, these baby teeth can decay and fall out early. Prematurely losing a tooth can result in the permanent adult teeth moving below the gums, struggling to find a new home. This can lead to crooked or crowded teeth later in your child’s life. Starting your child off with proper dental hygiene practices can help protect your child’s teeth for years to come and more importantly, will instill healthy hygiene practices that will help your child for life.
How to Maintain Healthy Baby Teeth
There are plenty of steps that you can take to make sure that your child’s teeth are healthy. Taking care of your child’s teeth actually begins before their first tooth appears. After birth, you should run a clean, moist washcloth over your child’s gums daily to remove dangerous bacteria.
Brushing Your Child’s Teeth
When your child’s teeth begin to show, it’s time to get to the nitty-gritty, brushing the teeth. With infants, it’s important to use a fluoride toothpaste that carries the American Dental Association’s seal of acceptance. It’s important to use an infant toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste minimize the amount of toothpaste that is swallowed. As your child grows and begins to brush their teeth themselves, you should still supervise them to make sure they are using good technique and not swallowing the toothpaste.
Flossing Your Child’s Teeth
As soon as your child’s teeth begin to touch, you can begin flossing between them. Flossing is one of the most important aspects of dental hygiene and unfortunately, even most adults forget to floss. Keep in mind to be gentle while flossing, as your child’s gums are more delicate than adult gums.
How to Avoid Tooth Decay or Other Oral Diseases
Even though baby teeth are only temporary, they are still prone to decay without proper care. One of the leading cause of tooth decay amongst infants is a condition known as bottle mouth. Your child can develop bottle mouth when their bottle rests on their teeth for too long. This can lead to the sugars on your child’s bottle eating away at the enamel resulting in discoloring and in some cases, cavities.
Avoiding Bottle Mouth
Preventing your child from falling asleep with a bottle in their mouth is one of the easiest ways to prevent bottle mouth. You should also set specific times for drinking to limit the time your child sucks on the bottle. Once your child is around six-months-old, they can begin to use a sippy cup, which lowers the risk of developing bottle-related oral diseases.
Reduce the Chances of Tooth Decay
The same rules adults use to prevent tooth decay can also be applied to your child. Semi-daily brushing and flossing will help clear the bacteria and other nasty things that can fester in your child’s mouth. Also, we all know how much children love their candy, but limiting the amount of sugar they consume will go a long way in preventing tooth decay.
When Will Baby Teeth Fall Out?
Your child’s baby teeth act as a guiding light for their permanent adult teeth. While the adult teeth form in the gums, they latch on to the baby teeth, essentially kicking them out once they feel it’s time to check into the game. Kids typically begin losing their baby teeth anywhere between five to seven years old. However, losing teeth as early as four years old isn’t uncommon.
The lower central and upper central incisors are usually the first teeth to go followed by the lateral incisors. The molars are the last teeth to fall out and those usually go between the ages of 10 to 12. Around this time, you should keep in mind that your child may feel discomfort and may even have trouble eating certain foods.
How to Take Out Loose Teeth
Believe it or not, attaching a loose tooth to a string, tying it to a doorknob and slamming the door isn’t the recommended method for pulling teeth. In fact, it’s recommended that you let nature play its course and let the tooth fall out itself. Pulling a tooth should require minimal effort and little bleeding.
What if a Tooth Falls Out Early?
Unless there was trauma, including falls, which seemingly happen by the minute with children, there’s usually no need to worry about teeth falling out early. If the tooth that falls out early is one of the front bottom teeth and there are no signs of decay or trauma, there’s typically no reason to worry. It’s also important to remember that girls typically get and lose their teeth earlier than boys.
When to See a Dentist
You should see a dentist after your child’s first tooth comes in and no later than their first birthday. A trip to the dentist at this young of an age is considered a “well-baby checkup” for their teeth. The dentist will make sure that there are no cavities or other issues with your child’s teeth. More importantly, the dentist will help show you how to clean your child’s teeth properly and how to handle habits they may be damaging.
How to Make the Most Out of a Trip to the Dentist
As your child gets older, it’s important to schedule yearly trips to the dentist. These checks will help make sure that your child has no cavities and will also clean their teeth so they look like a million bucks. However, just like most adults, children hate going to the dentist. Here are some steps you can take to help make your child more comfortable:
Benefits Of Healthy Baby Teeth
Keeping your child’s teeth clean will help your child out tremendously. Not only will their mouths be clean and healthy, but they will also develop healthy dental hygiene habits that can last them a lifetime. Healthy teeth will also make sure that their adult teeth will grow in properly, getting their adult teeth off to a good start.
Freak accidents such as trauma can lead to your child losing their teeth prematurely. However, you can easily prevent your child from prematurely losing teeth by limiting the amount of decay and the amount of sugar your child consumes, which can eat away at their enamel. The premature loss of teeth can lead to your child’s adult teeth growing in crooked and crowded. This can impact the self-esteem of your child and can even cause you a headache later down the line. Constant trips to the dentist and braces can become pricey, and they can be avoided by taking care of your child’s teeth.
How Much Does a Tooth Fairy Pay these Days?
Times are tough. The cost of living is higher than it’s ever been and our youth will be in a perpetuating state of debt that will feel like a deep, deep void with no way out. Turns out, even the Tooth Fairy isn’t immune to these difficult times.
There are studies, yes, actual studies, that show the Tooth Fairy’s payment per tooth has gone down in recent years. The average cost per tooth is running at $3.70 today, nearly a $1 dropoff from the $4.66 payout kids were receiving in 2016. However, the Tooth Fairy is dishing out nearly $5 for children’s first tooth.
Ultimately, the Tooth Fairy’s going rate all depends on you, the parent – wink, wink. Just keep in mind, there are about 20 different payments the Tooth Fairy is going to have to make. Giving your child a $20-bill for their first tooth can set a dangerous precedent and can set unrealistic expectations. Losing a tooth is an exciting time for both the parent and the child, so the Tooth Fairy should give whatever they feel the child deserves.