Known as primary teeth, baby teeth will usually begin to emerge through your baby’s gums between the ages of six months to one year. The Canadian Dental Association recommends scheduling their child’s first dental appointment within the first year.
This is because, despite eventually being replaced by permanent teeth, baby teeth are very important for your child’s development. Here are a few ways in which healthy baby teeth help your child:
Reserve space in the jaw for the permanent teeth growing under the gums
Allow for clear speech without impediments
Help children chew food thoroughly and painlessly
Some Teething Habit FAQs
- Provide your child with a healthy diet. Foods with lots of calcium and vitamin D aid growth of strong teeth. Limit sweet drinks.
- Reinforce good oral hygiene habits, brushing twice a day. Wash your baby’s gums with a soft washcloth even before the first tooth.
- Never put your baby to bed with a sippy cup of any liquid other than water.
- Give your child water in between meals
- If using a soother, never dip it in sweet substances (such as honey).
- Practice good oral hygiene. To limit the transfer of harmful oral bacteria to babies, don’t clean pacifiers and teething toys by sucking on them, or share utensils. Rinse with warm water instead.
Thumb-sucking is a natural reflex for babies; it helps them feel safe and secure. Sucking on a soother or their thumb is generally harmless, but there is a risk that complications may arise. Continual thumb-sucking and use of pacifiers beyond the age of three to four can cause teeth to misalign, causing crooked teeth and problems with how the jaws bite or fit together. “Aggressive” suckers can even prevent normal jaw development and constrict the roof of the mouth.
To minimalise the risk of these complications, talk to Dr. Dhesi to find out about orthodontically correct pacifiers or helping your child stop thumb-sucking.
Summit View Dental Centre wants to help you practice good oral health for your baby, because we know that establishing good oral habits early will help bring a lifetime of beautiful smiles for your child. Your baby’s first visit to the dentist is an exciting milestone, one that we look forward to celebrating with you!