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Infant Oral Health Care; When to Start & How to Clean Newborn Mouth, Gum & Tongue

Smile Reef

Baby teeth are not a permanent fixture, eventually knowing they will be lost and replaced with permanent teeth. Before baby teeth even come in, many professionals recommend starting good oral health practices in infancy. To give your babies oral care before, during, and after the baby teeth stage, we at Smile Reef would like to elaborate on why it is important.

Importance of Pediatric Dental Care

Being well versed in caring for baby teeth for patients from the time they are infants until they are in their teens, pediatric dentists possess 2 more years of postdoctoral training. With no teeth, you may be wondering why an infant needs oral hygiene does at all. To remove the formula residue from off their gums, tongue, and surrounding mouth, the biggest advantage is using a soft bristled, newborn-sized toothbrush. The little ones can be accustomed to brushing their teeth early in life, while removing any lingering bacteria.

Why Do We Have Baby Teeth?

During the formative years, the primary teeth, or baby teeth, serve several purposes. Children use them to learn how to speak and they are obviously required for proper eating and chewing from the moment these teeth grow in. To ensure the correct development of the muscles and bones in the jaw, the primary teeth provide the spacing requirements for the eruption of the permanent teeth as well. For infants and toddlers, this is why there is strong emphasis on dental hygiene. Using a small toothbrush at an early age, children can become accustomed to using a small dab of fluoride toothpaste. Encourage their teeth-brushing habits by doing it alongside them. Most children learn by watching.

When Do Permanent Teeth Come In?

Permanent teeth begin to make an appearance at about 6 years of age. The lower front teeth and the molars are generally the first teeth that appear. Typically all the permanent teeth will have erupted, excluding the wisdom teeth by the age of 14. In an effort to minimize or even prevent orthodontic issues and promote optimal growth, dental care is imperative in the early years.

What Age Should a Child Go to the Dentist for the First Time?

It is encouraged you book their first dental visit around the first birthday though we recommend beginning oral hygiene practices for your infant starting at day one. In addition to giving the professional an early start on proper development, X-rays do not start until later, but that first visit is a good introduction to pediatric dentistry. Below you will see the breakdown of your child’s X-rays, dental X-rays are one of the primary diagnostic tools used in the industry.

Pediatric Dental X Rays for 3 Year Old

Occlusal X-rays: To help determine the development of the upper and lower front teeth, occlusal x-rays usually only need to be taken once. Being frequently taken at around 3 years old, the image allows the dentist to assess the formation of a child’s permanent teeth beneath their baby teeth.

Bitewing X-rays: To monitor early detection, bitewing X-rays are used to detect cavities. A part of regular professional care, these x-rays are usually included for children 3 or 4 years of age. These X-rays help the pediatric dentist locate any caries that have developed between the teeth as well.

Pediatric Dental Care

Your child can benefit from having well developed and cared for teeth well into adulthood with the help of early oral hygiene maintenance at home and with pediatric dentistry. Contact Smile Reef today to make your appointment if your child is due for an exam in the Las Vegas, Nevada Valley.

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