Our pediatric dentist in Grand Rapids gets a lot of questions from parents about how to care for baby teeth. We understand that you want the best for your child’s oral health, which is why we wrote this guide to help you understand what oral care your child will need from the time they’re a baby to a toddler.
Do babies need dental care?
Yes, our pediatric dentist recommends caring for your child’s gums as soon as possible. Wipe your baby’s gums twice a day with gauze or a soft damp washcloth, especially after feedings and before you put them down for the night.
While your child may not have teeth yet, it’s important to keep their gums free of plaque so incoming teeth have the best chance of being healthy.
What do you do when a baby gets their first tooth?
Once your baby gets their first tooth, you’ll need to schedule an appointment for them with our. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your baby see a dentist once they get their first tooth, but no later than their first birthday.
You’ll also need to upgrade their oral hygiene routine from wiping their gums to brushing teeth twice a day. Use only a rice-sized smear of toothpaste until your child is at least 3 years old.
What is the best baby toothbrush?
Our pediatric dentist recommends choosing a toothbrush with soft bristles, a small head to get around baby teeth, and a large handle to make brushing easier for your child. If you have any questions about what products are best for your child or about in general, don’t hesitate to bring them up to our pediatric dentist.
Do babies need toothpaste?
Your baby won’t need toothpaste until they get their first tooth. Use only a smear of fluoride toothpaste on their brush (about the size of a grain of rice) once the first tooth has erupted.
When your child reaches 3 years of age, you may then increase the amount of toothpaste your child uses to a pea-sized glob. Since young children lack the ability to brush teeth effectively, you’ll need to assist and make sure they spit out excess toothpaste once they’re done brushing.
When should my child first see a dentist?
You’ll need to schedule an appointment with our dentist for kids once your child gets their first tooth, but no later than their first birthday. During your child’s first appointment with us, we’ll take a look inside their mouth and help them feel comfortable in the dentist’s chair.
We understand that children can feel nervous in a new environment, which is why we do everything we can to make sure your child feels safe and secure.
Typically, the focus of the first appointment is getting your child acquainted with our office and helping them understand the importance of maintaining oral health. For example, our pediatric dentist may explain that your child needs to protect their teeth from “sugar bugs” (plaque) so they can maintain a healthy smile.
Our pediatric dentist will also take a look inside their mouth to make sure there’s no obvious signs of tooth decay or gum disease. After your child’s first appointment, they’ll need to continue seeing our pediatric dentist every 6 months for a routine teeth cleaning and oral examination.
Want to Learn More?
Brett Kingma DDS, Grady Randall DDS, and their team want to help your child start a lifetime of good oral health. We offer dentistry for children, which includes teeth cleanings, sedation dentistry, and other baby dental care. To schedule an appointment with our call Mitten Kids Dentistry at (616) 942-9840.,
This blog post has been updated.