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When Do Babies Go To The Dentist?

New parents are stressed about a lot of things. Sometimes, their babies cry a lot, which leads to sleep deprivation for the parents, who unfortunately, have to report to work early the next morning. Sadly, these problems that accompany these cute, snuggly bundles of joy, as proven by research, makes parents, less happy than their child-free peers.
The main reason for this large amount of stress is actually the changes your child is going through. One of these challenges- teeth development, causes your child to lose appetite, diarrhea and cry a lot. As a result, parents are stressed, as they try to understand the new changes that their toddler is exposed to.
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Hoes does your child develop her first milk teeth, and when should she make her first dentist visit?

Facts You Should Know About Your Baby’s First Tooth

  • Milk Teeth Develop Between 6 and 12 Months
In case your child is within this age, then expect to see a white protrusion begin to show in her gums. Some parents will actually begin to notice the signs as early as when the baby is 3 months old.  The baby will be experimental with her mouth, producing more saliva, as she habitually puts hands in her mouth.  
As much as you might assume that she’s teething, the tooth will first appear when she’s 6 months or older. Usually, the first teeth to appear are the lower front teeth, known as the central incisors. The rest of the teeth gradually appear, leading the child to have her first full set of milk teeth by the age of 3.
  • Add Fluoride To Baby’s Food When She’s 6 Months
Why do you think fluoride toothpastes make up more than 95% of toothpaste sales? It is because fluoride is a mineral that strengthens and re-mineralizes the tooth enamel, in the early stages of tooth decay.
Essentially, fluoride, alongside calcium, becomes an important part of your baby’s diet, to prevent tooth decay, and promote growth of teeth, respectively. At 6 months, your baby will not only be teething, but will also be weaned. This means that you can easily add fluoride into the diet by giving her boiled tap water, which usually contains fluoride.
To be sure, consult your dentist to confirm whether your tap water contains fluoride and is safe to drink. Additionally, inquire if your child needs fluoride supplements.
  • Massage Baby’s Gums When Teething
Although teething doesn’t cause too much discomfort, babies still feel teething pain and discomfort. A quick observation will reveal her swollen and tender gums, in addition to increased drooling. To ease her pain, gently massage her gums with clean fingers, or a clean, frozen, or wet washcloth.
What should you avoid?
Glad you asked. Ensure that you refrain from teething tablets, gels with benzocaine, or amber teething necklaces. Despite being marketed as teething pain relievers, these medicines have bad side effects that the FDA has warned about.
  • Brush Your Baby’s Teeth Twice A Day
Teeth development comes with oral health issues, just like it happens with adults. Your baby will also produce bad breath, which means that in addition to the tongue cleaning you did before teeth development, you also need to brush her teeth.
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Make sure that the toothpaste used contains the required amount of fluoride, in order to strengthen her teeth while eliminating bad odor. Also, only use toothbrushes with soft bristles, to prevent gum abrasion.
This now takes us to the big question. Your baby is brushing her teeth, just like you. But, does she need to see a dentist when she has only two front teeth? If yes, when is the appropriate time?

When Babies Should Visit A Dentist

It is wrong for parents to wait until their children develop their first set of milk teeth, before visiting a dentist. Ideally, her first dentist visit should be after the eruption of the first tooth.
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The first visit meets three main objectives.
Firstly, it is to familiarize your child with that environment, to eliminate fear, and build trust, which is essential in future visits.
Secondly, both you and your child will be introduced to the ‘soft’ office language, to eliminate fear associated with dentist tools. For example, the drill could be referred to as tooth sweeper.
Lastly, the dentist does a quick examination on your baby’s teeth, taking note of any dental problems, such as, decay, bottle caries, frenum issues. This way, any mal-development can be sorted out as soon as possible. Additionally, this could be the earliest detection of unknown general health conditions.

What You Should Do

From the age of 3 months, monitor your child’s dental development, as you will notice increased saliva production and mouth exploration. As soon as the first tooth is out, brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, adding fluoride in her diet, and avoiding sugary foods.
Make sure that you only use the right amount of fluoride, and make your first dentist visit during this period, to make sure that her teeth are developing correctly.


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