There’s a lot to learn when you’re a new parent. It might even seem overwhelming sometimes. One thing that you need to remember is that your baby is depending on you for everything, including their dental care. Now, you might not have thought about dental care, especially if your little one just barely started developing their teeth. However, it’s important to remember that proper dental care actually begins before your baby’s first tooth even breaks through the gums. In fact, to protect your baby’s teeth from tooth decay, you should be wiping their gums down with a clean, damp cloth at least twice a day. If you haven’t scheduled their first dental visit, here are four signs that it’s time for them to be seen.
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They Have Their First Tooth
According to clinics like the Dental Care of Muskogee, if you can see, or feel, your baby’s first tooth, it’s time for them to have their first dental appointment. This may seem early to you, but it’s actually the best way to ensure that you baby develops strong, healthy teeth. During that first dental exam, the dentist will take a look at your baby’s gums, and make sure there aren’t any issues that need to be addressed. Taking your baby to the dentist early will also help them develop a lasting relationship with their dentist, which will be helpful when your child is old enough for routine care.
There are White Spots on the Enamel
If your baby has developed white spots on their enamel, you need to schedule an appointment with their dentist. White spots can be a warning sign that decay is beginning to develop deep inside your baby’s teeth. Unfortunately, baby’s aren’t immune to tooth decay, especially if their teeth aren’t properly cared for from an early age.
Their Gums are Red and Swollen
If your baby has developed red, swollen gums around teeth that have already grown in, it’s time to visit the dentist. Your little one could be facing the beginning stages of gum disease. Baby’s as young as 12 months old can develop gum disease, which is the leading cause of premature tooth loss. Unfortunately, developing gum disease early in life can increase the risk of dental problems later in life. To protect your baby’s teeth, get them into the dentist if you notice red, swollen gums.
They Take a Bottle to Bed
If your baby takes a bottle to bed with them, they should have their teeth examined by a dentist. This is particularly true if the bottles contain milk, formula, or sweetened juices. The sugar contained in those liquids can eat away at your baby’s teeth, leading to a dental problem known as baby bottle tooth decay. Unfortunately, without proper care, baby bottle tooth decay can lead to tooth loss. To protect your little one’s developing teeth, you should never send your baby to bed with bottles that contain anything other than clear water.
They Haven’t Developed Their First Tooth Yet
If your baby is over the age of 18 months, and hasn’t cut their first tooth, they need to be seen by a dentist. This could be the sign of a serious dental problem such as amelogenesis imperfecta and regional odontodysplasia, or a nutritional deficiency. Your dentist will be able to determine the cause of the problem.
Don’t take chances with your baby’s teeth. To protect their developing teeth, and prevent dental problems, your baby should be seen by a dentist at least twice a year, beginning as soon as their first tooth develops. If your baby appears to have tooth pain, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible.