As a first time mom who is expecting my first in November, I understand how overwhelming it can be to have so many questions surrounding having a baby. I wanted to help ease your mind when it comes to infant’s oral health by sharing some insight on what I will be looking for in my own child and what I advise parents on when they come in for babies first visit.
Q: What should I know about teething and how can I comfort my infant?
Your child will get a total of twenty baby teeth at the average age of 3 years old. Typically, the bottom two front teeth are the first to erupt around 6 months of age. Do not worry if your kiddo decides to get teeth earlier or later than the average age or decides to get the top teeth first!
I know I will be looking for signs of teething which could be sporadic discomfort, fussiness (irritability), a low-grade fever, and excessive drooling. Some treatment options include over-the-counter pain medication (Motrin & Tylenol) and traditional teething rings. Becoming more popular, all natural alternative options these days are breast milk popsicles or frozen baby feeders with baby cereals. This is a learning stage for everyone and may take some time to find out what works best for you and your baby.
Q: How can I prevent cavities for my little one?
There are numerous ways to prevent cavities! It all starts with those cute gummy smiles. We do not expect you to brush your infants’ teeth every time they nurse or feed especially in the middle of the night, but wiping their teeth/gums with a wet washcloth after (every) nursing/feeding will help prevent any sugar or carbohydrate staying on his/her teeth. Also, try to limit sugar and starch intake like juices.
It is important to start brushing his/her teeth with fluoride toothpaste when you see those teeth come in, (ideally every morning and night). You only need a smear of toothpaste and can wipe his/her teeth with a wet washcloth if you are worried about them swallowing it. Lastly, make sure to establish care and see a dentist regularly for dental check-ups!
We at ICTeeth/Smile Safari and the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentists) recommend seeing your child by 12 months of age. Studies have shown families that establish a dental home early have less dental related pain, lower annual dental costs, and a more positive dental experience overall! We know that they may not let us actually clean or brush their teeth on the first visit, it’s more about making the connection and establishing trust.
I hope this information helps and please feel free to contact me at 316-681-3228 with any questions or concerns.
Dr. Amrita Khemka DMD
Dr. Amrita Khemka did her undergraduate training in Psychology at Indiana University. She attended Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis to receive a Master of Science degree in Biology. In 2014, Dr. Khemka moved from the mid-west to Boston in order to attend Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. She wasn’t ready to leave New England just yet and moved to Providence, Rhode Island, where she completed her residency in Pediatric Dentistry. And she is expecting her first baby this year!