What Are Milk Teeth and How Do You Care for Them?

Now that your little one already has a few pearly whites, it’s time to start an oral hygiene routine. Let’s go through a basic guide of caring for your baby’s milk teeth and see what you need to do to keep them healthy.

Everything You Need to Know about Milk Teeth

Babies are born with no visible teeth in their mouth (although there are some exceptions). Up until six months, a baby’s bare gums are all he needs for nursing or being fed with a bottle, but he can also manage soft foods and purees.

Usually, the first teeth to emerge are the lower, then the upper central incisors, giving your baby a very cute bunny look. Next in line are the lateral incisors, followed by molars. Canines, often dreaded by both parents and children because they cause painful teething, are usually out by 23 months of age. The final milk teeth to break through are the premolars, adding to a total of 20 temporary baby teeth.

Symptoms of teething are:

  • Crankiness and clinginess
  • Baby puts his hands and various objects in his mouth, chewing them
  • Excess salivation
  • Blushed cheeks
  • Red and inflamed gums
  • Ear and nose rubbing
  • Waking up more often than normal

Besides learning how to deal with the lack of sleep and the fussiness of your little one when he is teething, you should also put together a plan of caring for those pearly whites as early as
possible.

How to Clean and Care for Milk Teeth

While some pediatricians might recommend cleaning your infant’s gums and mouth (if residue leads to problems), it is usually ok to start a routine when the first tooth is out.

At first, you don’t need a toothbrush or toothpaste. Gently wipe your baby’s gums and teeth with a warm, damp washcloth or gauze wrapped around your finger. Don’t use anything else than plain water. You could also try a silicone thimble with different textures to clean the mouth.

After one year of age, you can introduce a soft-bristled baby toothbrush and baby toothpaste. Try to brush your baby’s teeth twice a day, but make sure not to force it. The best approach is through the power of example. Brush your teeth in front of him and make it a fun game. By the age of two, you are supposed to do it for them, but it’s important to let them practice, too.

At around 18 months it is also a good time to have the first visit to the dentist. Make it fun and relaxing and choose someone that has experience with kids.

A positive start in oral care will stay with them for years to come, so get involved and gently get them used to it.

Do you want to learn more about milk teeth or schedule an appointment with your little one? Get in touch with Kantor Dental, and we’ll ensure to make this journey enjoyable for both of you.