Taking Care of Baby's First Teeth

Massachusetts Dental Society

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Taking Care of Baby's First Teeth 

Usually, a baby's four front teeth begin to appear between the ages of six months to one year. The remainder of primary teeth will erupt usually in pairs on each side of the jaw, until the child is approximately three years old. Most children have a full set of primary teeth by the time they are age three.

Begin oral health care when your baby is born by cleaning his or her gums with a clean gauze pad or washcloth after feeding. The Massachusetts Dental Society recommends that parents begin brushing children's teeth as soon as the first tooth appears with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of water. Unless your child's dentist advises it, do not begin using a fluoridated toothpaste until the age of two, and then use only a pea-sized amount. Children should be taught to spit out toothpaste and rinse with water after brushing. Flossing should begin as soon as any two teeth touch. Parents should assist their children until they are old enough to brush and floss on their own--usually by age six or seven.

Primary teeth are just as important as the adult teeth because they help children with biting, chewing, speaking, and  and physical appearance. Early tooth loss from dental decay can have a serious impact on your child’s self-esteem and self-confidence.

Teach your child from an early age, the importance of eating a healthy diet, and practicing routine oral hygiene care to maintain healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime.