You might have been minding your own business, tending to other errands while taking care of your child. Feeding time comes around, then afterward, it’s your usual gum-cleaning session with baby. But there’s something different this time. Instead of that small pink smile you’ve come to love, you find a small, white bump growing on the front part of their gums. Say hello to their new teeth.
There’s a thing that happens when your child gets their first tooth, particularly if you’re a new parent. Much of it is excitement, the joy of a new discovery, and optimism for your child’s next stages of growth. But part of it is hesitation—now that your kids grew a new tooth, what should you do next?
Fortunately, not too much. But the things you do need to do are crucial—follow them to a T, and they can set your child’s dental health for life. That said, what should you do when your kid gets a full set of new teeth?
- Take your kids to the pediatric dental office for their first check-up
While it might seem a little pricey and unnecessary to give your kid a check-up before their first birthday, the benefits outweigh the cons on this one. For one, your kid’s pediatric dentist knows how to handle children, making it more likely for that visit to the dental office to become a pleasant one. For another, bringing your kid to the dentist at an early age gives those little tooth buds the long-term protection they need. As your child grows, their dentist can track the progress of their teeth to ensure they develop properly. If they do spot something off—for instance, signs of tooth decay or malocclusion—they can correct the problem and put your child back on track. As an added bonus, your kid will probably go to the dentist more if you start them at an early age.
- Start them up on their oral hygiene
Of course, this is probably second nature to most parents. Once your kids’ teeth come in, you’ll have to make sure they’re kept safe—particularly if they’re bottle-fed. For every feeding, you might want to start off by wiping those little tooth buds with a soft cloth and some water. Once they’ve emerged a little more, you can upgrade their treatment to some low-fluoride toothpaste and a small brush. The moment their teeth grow next to each other, start them off on the floss. After all, the earlier, the better.
- Give them tooth-healthy food
Of course, keeping those pearly whites clean is only a portion of the battle. Because most of those cavity-causing agents come from what you eat, changing up your kid’s diet ensures your kid’s fledgling teeth are safe and sound. A combination of low-sugar foods, saliva-friendly ingredients, and a load of fiber should put your child at an oral health premium. By doing so, you don’t just build a healthy future for their baby teeth, but the full set of their permanent teeth as well.