As parents of a little one, we understand that you're very busy. However, we like to take a few minutes of your time to talk about our needs. As your child's baby teeth, there are a few things you should know to make life easier for all of us.
1. We will arrive when we are good and ready.
We know you read a stack of parenting books, and we know you expect us to show up between 4 and 6 months of age. As you have probably come to realize, however, the information provided in those weighty tomes are more guidelines than hard and fast rules. It is perfectly normal for the first of our kind to show up in your child's mouth anywhere between 3 and 14 months of age. Whether we arrive early to the party or are fashionably late is more about genetics than anything.
2. When we are on the way, you'll probably know about it.
As we move closer to the surface of your baby's gums, he or she may become more irritable than normal. Babies who are teething will often seek out firm objects to chew on just before baby teeth erupt through the gum tissue and become visible to Mom and Dad. More often than not, we will show up first in the bottom gum line in a pair. Then, a couple of our friends up top will usually arrive next.
3. Your baby may not be so happy to see us at first.
As parents, you can help welcome us by giving your baby a safe teething ring or other toys designed for infant teething. Some babies who experience teething discomfort respond well to a gentle gum massage with a cool damp washcloth.
4. Now that we've arrived, it's time to start taking care of us!
Parents should handle the brushing tasks until their child is old enough to take over on his or her own. A wide range of infant toothbrushes are on the market, and parents can choose the style and design that they prefer. Once two of us are close enough to touch, it's time to introduce flossing to your baby's dental hygiene routine. By flossing even before your child is able to handle this task on his or her own, you are providing an excellent example of proper dental hygiene, one that he or she will be happy to take over when the time comes.
5. Introduce us to a pediatric dentist.
Once we've arrived on the scene, it's important that we begin receiving routine dental care from a qualified professional. Routine dental checkups can help ensure that we are developing properly. As your child grows older, the dentist can help teach proper dental hygiene techniques, and will make sure that we are healthy and in great condition.
We may be biased, but we think that the team at Wright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry is a great choice for your child's first dentist. Take a look at their website to learn more about the professionals they have on staff, and find out how to schedule an initial consultation once we've arrived. We look forward to meeting your family and being featured in hundreds of family photos!