Baby teeth are very important for your child’s development. They help with chewing food, speech development and facial growth. This means it is very important to take care of them.
Children’s teeth are already developing by the time they are born, including their adult teeth! They generally start to erupt from about 6 – 12 months, starting with the lower incisors (lower front teeth) and will grow 20 teeth to complete a full set of baby teeth.
These teeth are smaller than adult teeth and have thinner and less robust enamel which makes them able to develop decay faster than adult teeth.
It is a good idea to get your baby used to having their teeth cleaned before the first tooth even erupts. You can use a damp, soft cloth to wipe their gums. Once teeth erupt you can start using a soft tooth brush or finger brush with tap water to brush gently around their teeth and gums.
It is important for you to do this and help your child with brushing until they are 7-8 years old and have adequate manual dexterity to clean their teeth properly. Your child may like to help you brush and sometimes using 2 tooth brushes (one for you and one for your child) can help to make this fun, you could also use music to time 2 minutes.
A lot of people think that baby teeth aren’t that important and that we could just take them out if they get decayed but this may cause loss of space in their dental arch and lead to orthodontic problems down the track which can be difficult and expensive to rectify.
Check your child’s teeth regularly for any sign of decay or discolouration. Lift your child’s lip and have a good look! It is also important to bring your child in for regular dental check-ups at the dentist every 6 months. We recommend to bring them in when their first tooth erupts or at the latest 6 months after their first tooth comes in.
Watch out for your child’s diet and ensure you limit sweet foods and drinks, sticky foods and acidic foods.
We offer to see your child for their first dental visit at no charge if they are under 2 and also bulk bill under the Medicare Child Dental Benefits Scheme. Call us today to make a time to have your child’s teeth checked.