Even baby teeth need lots of care and attention
No two babies are exactly alike, and that means they’ll all get their first teeth at different times. Some babies are as young as three or four months, and others might not have their first tooth until eight or nine months!
Here’s a general guideline of when you can expect your child’s baby teeth to make their grand entrance:
5-8 months: The two bottom front teeth (central incisors)
8-10 months: The four upper incisors
10-16 months: Lower lateral incisors, plus the first baby molars
16-22 months: The “eye teeth” or “canines” (cuspids)
24-42 months (two years to three-and-a-half years): All 20 baby teeth have finished arriving
But let’s back up a minute — you’ll need to start healthy oral hygiene habits before your child even has a single tooth. Babies need to have their gums wiped down with a damp washcloth after every feeding, because healthy teeth come from healthy gums.
Once that first baby tooth has appeared — and you’ve taken lots of photos! — it’s time to pull out the toothbrush. Brush your child’s baby teeth twice a day using a soft-bristled, round-headed toothbrush designed for infants. You can even get a long-handled “parents’ toothbrush” if you find it hard to handle a child-sized one.
While brushing, just use a tiny pea-sized drop of baby-safe toothpaste — because children under two should not use products that contain fluoride.
You might feel silly getting out the toothbrush and toothpaste for a single tiny baby tooth, but trust us — it’s important work. You’re setting your child up for a lifetime of healthy oral hygiene, and doing your part to keep their smile healthy and bright.