When Should Dental Care Start?
Proper dental care begins before a baby’s first tooth appears. Just because you can’t see the teeth doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Teeth actually begin to form in the second trimester of pregnancy. At birth, your baby has 20 primary teeth, some of which are fully developed in the jaw.
- Running a damp washcloth over a baby’s gums daily will help clear away harmful bacteria.
- Parents can brush kids’ teeth as they come in with an infant toothbrush, using water with just a smear of toothpaste until about age 2.
- Around age 2, most kids can spit while brushing. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste, with supervision, until around age 5.
Consider taking your child to a dentist who specializes in treating kids. Pediatric dentists are trained to handle the wide range of issues associated with kids’ dental health. They also know when to refer you to a different type of specialist, such as an orthodontist to correct an overbite or an oral surgeon for jaw realignment.