Your baby's first set of teeth, the primary teeth, are extremely important. Strong, healthy primary teeth help your child chew food easily, learn to speak clearly and look good. Primary teeth also hold the spaces for the permanent teeth to come into good position. Your child's general health can be affected if diseased or broken primary teeth are not treated early.
A healthy set of primary teeth
Your baby's first primary tooth usually erupts at the age of six months. However, this can vary, and it is not unusual to find some children who do not have a single primary tooth until the age of ten months and onwards. By age three, all primary teeth are present in the mouth.
When teething, your child may drool more and be more irritable. He/she may experience mild discomfort in the gums. Teething rings can help the teeth to cut through and alleviate the need to bite on things.
You should clean your baby's gums using a clean towel and water. Once teeth are erupted, you can use a bristled toothbrush.
Fluoridated toothpaste is recommended for your child. The dentist will be able to advise you on the type and amount of toothpaste according to your child's decay risk.
1. Avoid letting your child go to sleep with a bottle of milk, juice or sweetened liquids. Such practices may increase your child's risk of developing severe early childhood caries (SECC), a severe form of tooth decay in children.
The frequency of such practices, the type of liquid in the bottle and the standard of oral cleanliness in both child and caregiver are important factors when determining the risk of developing this decay.
2. Wean your baby from the milk bottle by age one.
3. Teach your child to use a training cup.
The first year of your baby's life is the oral phase. He/she would explore by putting things into his/her mouth. This includes sucking on digits or pacifiers.
Prolonged use of pacifiers or thumb-sucking can result in misaligned anterior teeth (i.e. an open bite). Early discontinuation of the habit will result in spontaneous correction.
The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.
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