Oral Care for Infants

The health of a child’s mouth truly begins during pregnancy, when the teeth are formed. A woman’s diet during this period will help to keep a baby born healthy and happy. It’s also important for pregnant women to maintain good dental health, visiting the dentist to check for gum disease and go for regular cleanings. Here are some other tips to help with the oral health care of an infant’s teeth.

Teething

A child’s teeth typically begin to break through the gums at around the age of 6 months. During this period, your child is likely to teeth. You should give them something soft to chew on, which helps the teeth erupt from the gums and lessens some of that discomfort. Your child’s first teeth may take up to three years to grow in, but he is likely to lose them by the time he is eleven. There is a slight overlap, where the child’s permanent teeth can start growing as early as six and finish as late as twenty-one.

First Exams

The doctor should conduct his first exam of a baby’s teeth by the time the child reaches six months of age. It’s likely that the mother’s dental history will be called into question during these initial exams as well. This is done to try and establish a history of illness in the family. The child’s first tooth will typically come in before his or her’s first birthday.

Tooth Care

A child’s mouth is susceptible to bacteria, so the spoon that is shared between parent and child present a health risk for them. Kissing can also bring risks to the child’s health, Parents also inadvertently cause health risks when they put a child to sleep with a bottle. The sugars inside of the milk can cause tooth decay, so remove it as soon as the child is done feeding.

The fluoride that is in your local water supply will often be enough for your child’s oral health, but you should consult your doctor to find acceptable limits. Too much fluoride can be toxic to your child, so it’s important that you monitor these levels carefully.

Final Thoughts

There are a variety of problems that can cause oral health issues in a child. Thumb sucking, for instance, can cause teeth to come in crooked. Exposure to tobacco smoke can stain the teeth and lead to tooth decay.

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