There are so many questions when you have a new little addition to the family, from worrying about how much (or little) the baby is sleeping, to how to cut those tiny fingernails. At the dental office, we get regular phone calls regarding the development of baby teeth. Here are some answers to five of the most common questions we are asked about baby teeth!
- My child is 6 months old and doesn’t have a tooth yet. Is this normal? Yes, this is normal. The first two teeth to erupt are the lower central teeth. These will come in between 6 and 10 months but could be a bit earlier, or a bit later. As dental professionals, we are more concerned with the eruption pattern, or the order in which the teeth are erupting. As long as they are coming in in the right order, the timing doesn’t necessarily matter.
- How do I care for my baby’s new teeth? At Simcoe Family Dentistry, we typically provide our expectant parents with a baby oral care kit. It includes a soft finger brush to help to clean new teeth as well as to help to massage the gums. Your baby will be in some discomfort while teething, and this little finger brush will help with that. Alternatively, you can use a soft, moistened wash cloth with water. Switch to a soft brush meant for babies and a rice sized smear of non-fluoridated toothpaste once your baby has her first tooth. You can upgrade to fluoridated toothpaste once your child can reliably spit out.
- There are big spaces in between my child’s new teeth. Is this normal? This isn’t just normal, it is ideal! The adult teeth will be much bigger than the baby teeth and need that extra space to grow. Teeth with larger gaps are also much easier to clean and less likely to develop cavities between the teeth due to food being trapped.
- My child’s first adult tooth is coming in, but the baby tooth isn’t even loose! This a very common concern we hear at least monthly. In rare cases, we do have to help the baby tooth out, but in most cases, it will come out on it’s own as the adult tooth pushes it further. We are always happy to assess in person or with a picture sent to our email!
- When should I bring my child in for a first dental visit? The Ontario Dental Association recommends bringing your child in before they turn 1. We love to see little ones at our dental clinic in Barrie! We try to make it very fun for kids and take them for a ride in the chair, show them all of the interesting instruments and if we are able to get them to open up and show off their pearly whites, that is an added bonus! The main thing is to get them used to the dental office and feeling like they can have fun here. A “happy visit” will set your child up for a lifetime of great dental appointments!
We are happy to answer any questions you might have about your new baby’s teeth and oral health. We love to help foster a love of good oral hygiene and healthy smiles for our smallest patients!