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Dental Milestones: Age 0-2

They grow up so fast! Around six months old, your new family member will start teething. This phase will go on for the next couple of years while your child’s baby teeth erupt. When these teeth start to emerge, you should take your child to visit a pediatric dentist. We know it can be tricky for new parents to find reliable information about proper dental care for children age 0-2. Milestone Kids Dentistry can help! Read on to discover how to take care of your baby’s teeth.

What Is The Ideal Age For A Child’s First Dental Visit?

You should visit a pediatric dentist when your child’s first tooth erupts, which can happen anytime between 6-10 months old. Visiting a pediatric dentist this early helps reduce the chance of preventable tooth decay and lets your dentist make sure your child’s development is on track. 

These check-ups also give the dentist the opportunity to clean their teeth and develop a relationship with everyone. They will also give you helpful information about how to keep your little one’s teeth in tip-top shape!

Teething

When Do Primary Teeth Start Growing In?

Teething is an important milestone in your kiddo’s development. This process happens when your child’s primary teeth start to grow in, usually around 6 months. The majority of children will have a full set of baby teeth by the time they are 3 years old.

These primary teeth usually erupt in groups during specific periods of time:

  • 6-10 months: the two bottom incisors (front teeth)
  • 8-13 months: the two upper incisors (front teeth)
  • 8-16 months: the four incisors on either side of the top and bottom front teeth
  • 13-19 months: the four molars, or chewing teeth
  • 16-23 months: the canine teeth between the molars and incisors
  • 25-33 months: the four final molar teeth, located toward the back of the mouth

How Can I Soothe My Teething Child?

Teething can be an uncomfortable and painful process for your little one. The good news is that there are few ways to help soothe any discomfort caused by teething!

  • Chill a teething ring or other teething toys in the refrigerator.
  • Gently massage your child’s gums.
  • Wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply it to the outside of your child’s mouth.
  • Use a feeding teether (these can be found at Target or Amazon) and fill it with chilled foods like cantaloupe, celery, or string cheese.
  • If the pain is more intense, consult your child’s dentist and get a mild painkiller.
  • Avoid using teething gels, tablets, or necklaces.

Caring For Your Baby’s Teeth

When Should I Start Cleaning My Baby’s Teeth?

Your child’s dental hygiene is important, even before their first tooth erupts! For infants who aren’t teething yet, gently wipe your baby’s gums with a clean wash cloth twice a day. This helps rid their mouth of unwanted bacteria, even before they need to have their teeth brushed. The moment you see their first tooth appear, you should brush your baby’s teeth twice a day.

How Do I Clean My Baby’s Teeth?

Use a tiny smear of fluoridated toothpaste for babies (about the size of a grain of rice) on a toothbrush designed for babies. Gently brush the surface of the teeth, taking care to get into the hard-to-reach areas.  If your child has developed the motor skill to spit, you can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste instead. 

Once your child has more than one tooth, you should also floss in between the teeth. Gently thread the floss through the teeth, give it a little wiggle, and gently pull it out.

Why Does Tooth Decay Happen & How Can I Prevent It?

Did you know that 1 in 10 children will experience tooth decay by the time they are two years old? Since much of your baby’s diet will contain sugar, tooth decay is a concern from the moment their first tooth emerges. This is because a child’s enamel is delicate and prone to damage. 

The good news is that tooth decay is easily preventable! If you start brushing your child’s teeth in their infancy, you remove sugars and bacteria that cause cavities and tooth decay. Plus, starting their hygiene routine early allows them to get used to the sensation of having their teeth brushed. This sets a healthy foundation for your child to continue caring for their dental health into adulthood.

How Can Oral Injuries & Habits Impact Dental Development?

Your little one is growing up and exploring their surroundings, which is an exciting time for children and parents alike. However, this exploration and freedom sometimes mean that your child is at higher risk of oral injury.

Babyproofing is a great way to help your child avoid injury. Place barriers on sharp corners, cover hard surfaces with soft materials, and supervise your child closely to ensure they stay safe.

Some habits formed in early childhood can be detrimental to your child’s dental health later on. By age 3, try to break habits like using pacifiers or thumb sucking, as this can cause your child’s teeth to develop improperly. 

Celebrate Dental Milestones with Pediatric Dental Experts North of Seattle

We know that you treasure your child and want them to be as happy and healthy as possible! At Milestone Kids Dentistry, we provide kids and parents the tools they need to create a foundation for a lifetime of beautiful smiles. If you want to know more about dental milestones for ages 0-2, contact our expert pediatric dentists. We can walk you through everything you need to know! Schedule an appointment now.

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