Caring for your baby’s teeth starts at birth. Clean your child’s gums with a soft cloth and water or a gentle infant toothbrush. Once teeth begin to erupt, brush teeth and gums twice a day with a “smear” of fluoride toothpaste and a soft brush for children under 2 years. From 2-5 years, use a “pea-size” amount of toothpaste and brush or assist your child as they learn to care for their teeth. Young children aren’t able to brush their teeth effectively, but you can teach your child about these healthy habits for a smile that lasts a lifetime.
Your child should visit a pediatric dentist when the first tooth erupts or by their first birthday – whichever is earliest! During the initial visit, we will perform an oral exam, discuss preventive care, and answer any questions you may have about your child’s current and future dental health needs.
We start our young patients on a lifetime of good dental habits to help prevent decay and promote healthy smiles. When teeth begin to erupt, children are at risk for Early Childhood Caries (formerly known as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries). Early intervention and preventative measures address tooth and bite alignment, nutrition, and healthy dental habits. When a child is sleeping, any liquid that remains in the mouth can support the bacteria that produce acid and harm the teeth.
When baby teeth erupt, “at will” breastfeeding and any liquids in a bottle other than water should be avoided. Other liquids, such as milk and fruit juices, can contribute to tooth decay and are better offered in an age-appropriate cup.
Teething and tender gums may last from about three months to age 3. Something as simple as a clean teething ring, cool spoon, or cold washcloth can help provide relief. Children’s Motrin can also be given to relieve any discomfort.
Call our office (Winston-Salem Office Phone Number 336-659-9500) to inquire about upcoming dates and times of our Toddler Tooth Time – a program unique to our office where we will discuss proper oral hygiene, habits and provide a complimentary exam, available until age 17 months.