Hi, friends! Dr. Vera here to talk to you about a question I get asked all the time. When do baby teeth grow in and how do I care for them?
Baby Teeth Development
Kids typically get their first tooth at 4-7 months of age, which is when you should bring your baby in for his or her first dental visit. Once there are teeth in the mouth it is important to start brushing for your child twice a day with a soft bristled brush.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends using fluoride toothpaste as early as 6 months of age, especially for those who do not have adequate fluoride in their water supply or for families that only drink bottled and filtered water. By age 3, all 20 baby teeth should have emerged.
How to Care for Baby Teeth
From the time the first tooth erupts until kids can spit excess toothpaste, usually around 3-4 years old, use only a rice-sized amount of toothpaste. This small quantity will not hurt your child if swallowed. Once your child has learned to properly spit excess toothpaste rather than swallow it, you can start brushing your child’s teeth with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
Flossing is an essential part of tooth-cleaning and an important step in preventing cavities from forming between the teeth. Parents should begin flossing their kid’s teeth once a day as soon as two teeth touch, typically between 2 and 2 ½ years of age when all the baby teeth have come in. Depending on spacing and gaps, some children may only need a few teeth flossed, while others may need all of the tight spaces between their teeth flossed. While string floss is the best method to curve around the teeth, it can be challenging to use on a wiggly toddler. Luckily, children’s floss picks are the next best thing. They’re the perfect size for cleaning between little teeth, and are a wonderful tool to help parents floss in small mouths.
It’s important to care for baby teeth when they start to grow in around 4-7 months of age, which is when it’s time for your baby’s first dental visit. Once the teeth start to grow in, it’s important to brush and floss your baby’s teeth daily. Make sure your child is getting proper levels of fluoride for proper tooth development and supervise your little one when using fluoride products. Starting this vital process at a young age sets your child up for a lifetime of great dental health!