Infant Oral Care
A great habit to get into is cleaning your infant’s gums with a wet washcloth. This should begin right away, prior to their first tooth, and is a good way to get them use to having their mouth cleaned. West Village kid's dentist, Dr. Klose believes infant oral care is extremely important if you want to help prevent cavities in the future.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Once the child has begun teething and their primary or baby teeth begin to erupt is an essential time for Dr. Klose to spot any potential issues. One early condition that can develop is baby bottle tooth decay. Baby bottle tooth decay takes place when sugary liquids (breast milk, juice, formula) adhere to an infant’s teeth for an extended period of time. During sleep is when this is worst as the sugars combine with saliva and pool around the teeth covering them in acids.
To avoid baby bottle tooth decay do not allow your infant to nurse a bottle containing anything other than water while falling asleep. Also avoid dipping pacifier in sweet substances and wipe your infant’s gums after feeding. If this is left untreated your child’s primary teeth could decay, develop infection and hinder the formation of their permanent or adult teeth.
Effects of Pacifiers and Thumb-sucking
Pacifiers are okay to use up until about the age of two to four. We typically discourage the use of pacifiers after this as they can hurt the development of your child’s teeth permanently. Another habit strongly discouraged is thumb-sucking as this can lead to improper growth, alignment and changes in the roof of the mouth.
Teething & Primary Teeth
Teething can be very irritating to your child. Their gums will be sore and your natural instinct will be to want to eliminate this pain for them. Teething rings, cool wet cloths, back of spoon and even rubbing your finger along their gums can help ease their pain.
Typically by the age of 3 each child has all 20 of their primary teeth. The condition and health of primary teeth are incredibly important. They allow for well-developed speech, maintain good nutrition and possibly most important guide their permanent teeth into place. Permanent teeth begin to erupt around age 6 and continues until around age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth and 32 when including “wisdom” teeth.