Do you know when you should take your baby to their first dental visit?
Believe it or not, a baby’s first trip to the dentist should be before their first birthday, or six months after their first tooth comes in. Infants will typically get their first tooth at around six months old, making their first birthday the ideal time for their first dental visit. A baby’s subsequent teeth will begin to come in shortly after that, and it’s important for those teeth to stay clean and healthy, so that is when you should schedule a visit to see Dr. Jeff! Dr. Jeff and his team are ready to meet your child as soon as their teeth begin to erupt, so watch as their teeth come in and schedule baby’s first trip to the dentist!
Can I clean my baby’s teeth at home?
Did you know that you can actually begin cleaning your child’s gums before their baby teeth emerge? Many dentists, like Dr. Jeff, recommend using a clean, damp washcloth to gently massage your baby’s gums. This activity serves two purposes—it will get your baby used to having something in their mouth and also prepare them for the use of a toothbrush at a later date. Many dentists also see this as a bonding activity between parent and child.
Once your baby’s first tooth has erupted—broken through the gums—you can begin to brush their teeth twice a day with a specialized toothbrush made for babies. This toothbrush should have ultra soft bristles and a small head that fits into a baby’s mouth. Using small circles, brush each surface of your child’s tooth, the exact same way you would brush your own teeth.
Remember that toothpaste isn’t advised until a child reaches toddler age, so use water on the toothbrush to brush your baby’s teeth, unless Dr. Jeff advises you differently. Once your child is a toddler and understands how to spit, you can introduce toothpaste. Use a toothpaste fortified with fluoride, and only use the amount about the size of a grain of rice on the toothbrush for toddlers. School-aged children and adults can use the amount of toothpaste equal to the size of a pea.
When does a baby’s first tooth come in?
Just like every person’s body develops at their own pace, the same can be said for when teeth grow in. You can’t compare the growth of your child’s teeth to someone else’s.
That being said, a baby’s first tooth normally emerges when they are between six and nine months old, and the teeth normally erupt in pairs.
The first two teeth to come in are usually the two bottom front teeth, which are the central incisors. Next, the central and lateral incisors come in, more often known as the first four top front teeth. The rest of your baby’s teeth, also known as primary teeth, continue to erupt through about the age of 30 months old. Molars are often the last primary teeth to emerge.
Children have 20 primary teeth in total, and usually, a child’s primary teeth continue to come in by the time they are three years old.
How frequently do a baby’s teeth come in?
Believe it or not, a baby’s teeth usually erupt four teeth every six months. Don’t expect it to be like clockwork, though, as everyone’s body acts differently. Dentists say parents should notice four new teeth erupting in the baby’s mouth during a six-month time frame.
Baby’s first trip to the dentist
Just like regular doctor checkups are important, routine dental checkups are important too, and your baby should see Dr. Jeff and his staff sooner than most parents think. A baby’s first dental visit should be no more than six months after the eruption of the child’s first tooth or no later than their first birthday—whichever comes first.
At your baby’s first dental visit, Dr. Jeff and his staff will go over your baby’s health history. It’s important we know how they are developing. We will have you, the parent, sit in the dental chair with your baby on your lap, and one of our dental assistants will make sure everyone is comfortable while Dr. Jeff evaluates your child’s mouth, jaw, and any teeth that have erupted. Dr. Jeff will be checking to make sure teeth are coming in properly and there are no issues with your baby’s teeth or jaw. After the evaluation is over, a dental hygienist will clean your baby’s teeth and show you how to properly care for them at home.
During the evaluation, Dr. Jeff encourages parents to ask questions about their baby’s oral health and the development of their teeth. We’re more than happy to demonstrate good brushing techniques and answer any questions you may have. After all, we’re here to help you be successful with your baby’s oral health!
Remember to visit Dr. Jeff and his team twice a year to ensure your baby’s dental health is in tip-top shape! Our staff loves children, and we can’t wait to grow with you and your child! Schedule an appointment with Dr. Jeff today!