When a baby gets a first tooth, the parents celebrate this milestone. But as more
teeth begin to come in, questions may arise. How should we care for these teeth?
Do we need to start brushing them? When should our child see a dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that every child see a
dentist within six months of the first tooth erupting, or around their first birthday
(whichever comes first). This is important to establish good habits as well as to
protect the baby teeth from decay. As dentists in Fremont, we sometimes see babies
even younger than a year old.
The Vital Importance of the Baby Teeth
One common misconception is that the baby teeth don’t matter, since they’re going
to fall out anyway. This is completely untrue. The baby teeth (scientifically referred
to as the “deciduous teeth”) are vital to long-term dental health. One reason is that
these teeth hold the space for the permanent teeth; if baby teeth are damaged, it
could affect how the permanent teeth come in. Damage to the baby teeth also
affects the child’s ability to eat and speak.
The most important reason for protecting the baby teeth involves the child’s general
health. If a cavity develops in a baby tooth and isn’t treated, it will progress,
destroying deeper parts of the tooth. Eventually, this infection may become an
abscess, which is a deep pocket of infection. This can destroy bone and affect
neighboring teeth. It can also spread into the child’s bloodstream, which is
potentially life-threatening. That’s why cavities should never be ignored.
Building Good Oral Hygiene Habits
A dentist can also help you start a good oral hygiene routine with your child. You
should start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they break through the gums.
Avoid using fluoride-containing toothpaste until your child is old enough to spit it
out rather than swallow it ”“ about age 3. As dentists in Fremont, when a child
comes to see us, we offer advice to the parents on protecting the child’s teeth.
Creating Trust With the Dentist
When you bring your young child to see a dentist, you’re also creating trust between
your child and the dentist. Your child will develop the habit of going to the dentist,
so that it seems natural and not intimidating. This will serve your child well for the
rest of his or her life. When we see children as dentists in Fremont, our first few
visits focus heavily on creating that trust, as well as encouraging good home hygiene
If you have a child, and it’s been six months or longer since the eruption of his or her
first tooth, it’s time for your child to meet a dentist. If you’re looking for a dentist in
Fremont who serves children, Fremont Cosmetic Dentistry would love to meet your
child. Dr. Cortese and Dr. Selway are both very friendly, and will create a bond
of trust with your child. Our patients often comment about how they don’t feel
nervous at all during their dental appointments in our office. When you come to see
us, we’ll help your child learn to love visiting the dentist in Fremont!