Glow Dental’s "Talking Teeth" for Mother and Baby

Last Updated on : 31st May 2013

We asked Glow Dental on Northcote Road to answer the most popular questions mothers ask about their newborn’s teeth. Thanks to Hooman at Glow for the great advice and if you would like to hear more, they’re taking part in National Smile Month for the next four weeks. 

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1.    When will my baby’s teeth appear?Talking Teeth for Mother and Baby

Your baby should start teething at around 6 months old and will continue to until all 20 baby teeth are in the mouth.

At around 6 years old the adult teeth will start to come through. This will continue until all the adult teeth, except the wisdom teeth, have come through at around 14 years old.

2.    Is teething painful?

Most children do suffer some teething pains. Babies might suffer a high temperature when they are teething and their cheeks may appear red and warm to the touch.

There are some special gels that may help to relive the pain. Teething rings can also help to soothe your baby. Certain teething rings can also be cooled in the fridge, which may help. But, as teething pains can vary it is better to check with your dentist.

3.    When should I take my child to the dentist for the first time?

It is best to discuss it with your dentist, but you could take your baby to your own routine checks. This can help the baby to get used to surrounding. Your dentist will be able to provide you with an advice and prescribe medicines for teething pains. The baby’s own check up can start from about 3 years or from when the teeth start to appear.

4.    How should I clean my baby’s teeth?

As soon as the first baby teeth begin to appear you should start to clean them. At first you may find it easier to use a piece of clean gauze or cloth wrapped around your forefinger. As more teeth appear, you will need to use a baby toothbrush. Use a smear of fluoride toothpaste and gently massage it around the teeth and gums.

5.    Will my baby need fluoride supplements?

Fluoride at very low level does help to strengthen the teeth. However, as fluoride is naturally found in some water supplies, it is important to ask your dentist whether your baby needs supplement. Excessive fluoride may not be good for the development of brain or teeth.

6.    Does breast feeding affect my baby’s teeth?

Breast milk is the best for babies, and it is recommended that you just give your baby breast milk during the first six months of its life.

there needs to be more research to see whether, in some cases, the natural sugars in breast milk can cause the decay. However it is widely accepted that breast milk is the best food for your baby.

7.    Does bottle feeding affect my baby’s teeth?

Early weaning from the bottle can help stop your baby from developing dental problems. Try to get your baby to drink milk or water from a special cup by the time they are around 6 months, or when they are able to sit up and can hold things by their own.

When feeding with a bottle you must sterilize the bottle properly.  Never add sugar or put sugary drinks into the bottle. Bottle feeding with drinks containing sugar can lead to ‘bottle caries’

8.    What is my baby damages the tooth ?

if you child damages the tooth contact your dentist immediately.  It is not uncommon for the damaged tooth to discolour over time due to trauma.

9.    Thumb sucking habit

If you can avoid using a dummy and discourage your child from thumb sucking. These can eventually cause problems with how the teeth grow and develop. And this may need treatment with a brace when your child gets older.

10. How can I prevent tooth decay in my child?

The main cause of tooth decay is not the amount of sugar or acid in the foodbut how often it is eaten or drunk. The more often your child has sugary or acidic foods or drinks, the more likely they are to have decay. It is therefore important to keep sugary and acidic foods to mealtimes only. If you want to give your child a snack, try to stick to cheese, vegetables and fruit. Try to limit dried fruit as it is high in sugar and can stick to the teeth.
It is also worth remembering that some processed baby foods contain quite a lot of sugar. Try checking the list of ingredients: the higher up the list sugar is, the more there is in the product. Sometimes, these are shown as fructose, glucose, lactose or sucrose. Thorough brushing for two minutes, twice a day, particularly last thing at night, will help to prevent tooth decay.

Consider that sugar will lead to one hour of decay. So if you have ten sweets , having one every hour will lead to 10 hours of decay, whereas having all in one go will lead to one hour of decay.

Thank you to the Glow Dental for the top tips and don’t forget they’

87 Northcote Road

SW11 6PL

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