Here are five essential things parents should know about baby teeth:

#1 Timing of Baby Teeth Eruption: 

Baby teeth, also known as primary or deciduous teeth, start to emerge in most infants between 6 and 10 months of age. The timing can be very variable and it is not uncommon for the first tooth to appear after the first Birthday. The lower front teeth (lower central incisors) are usually the first to come in, followed by the upper front teeth (upper central incisors). By the age of three, most children will have their full set of 20 primary teeth.

#2 Importance of Baby Teeth:

Baby teeth play a crucial role in a child’s overall development. They enable children to chew food properly, aiding in digestion and nutrient absorption. They also contribute to speech development and assist in guiding permanent teeth into their proper positions as the child grows.

#3 Care for Baby Teeth: 

Even though baby teeth are temporary, it is crucial to take good care of them. Establishing good oral hygiene habits early on is essential. Parents should start cleaning their baby’s mouth even before teeth erupt, using a soft, damp cloth or a small, soft-bristled infant toothbrush. A tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste should be used as soon as the first tooth erupts. As the child gets older, a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) can be used. Remember to schedule their first dental visit by their first birthday or when the first tooth emerges.

#4 Avoiding Baby Bottle Tooth Decay: 

Baby bottle tooth decay is a condition that occurs when baby teeth are frequently exposed to sugary liquids, such as formula, milk, or fruit juices. This prolonged exposure can lead to tooth decay and cavities. To prevent this, avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle filled with anything other than water, and try to wean them off the bottle by their first birthday.

#5 Teething Discomfort: 

Teething can be uncomfortable for some babies. Common signs of teething include increased drooling, irritability, and biting on objects. To alleviate their discomfort, you can give them a clean, cool teething ring or a damp washcloth to chew on. Avoid using teething gels that contain benzocaine, as they can be harmful to infants.

Don’t teethe on food (teething biscuits, frozen bagels, frozen bananas, etc). Chamomile tea can be helpful. Dip washcloths in strong chamomile tea and freeze them, your baby will enjoy the coolness and the tea is known for its potential calming and anti-inflammatory properties.

Remember, baby teeth lay the foundation for healthy permanent teeth, so caring for them from an early age is crucial for your child’s oral health. Regular dental check-ups are essential, as the dentist can monitor the development of your child’s teeth and provide guidance on proper oral care techniques.

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