Basic Dental Care - Infants and Children
A child's dental care really
starts with his or her mother's healthy pregnancy, because baby teeth begin to
form before birth. If you are pregnant, make sure to eat a balanced,
nutritious diet and get an adequate amount of vitamins
and minerals. It's important for pregnant women to have a complete dental exam
and have any cavities or gum disease treated.
Your child's first teeth (primary teeth ) usually begin to break through the gums (erupt) at about 6 months
of age, although the
timing varies among children. All of the 20 primary
teeth should come in between the ages of 6 months and 3 years. Your child will
lose his or her primary teeth between the ages of 6 and 11. For more
information, see the topic
Your child's first
permanent teeth (molars) usually
erupt behind the primary teeth at about age 6. The last permanent teeth usually
erupt between the ages of 12 and 21.
See more information on your
child's tooth development.
Starting dental care for children
By the time your child is 6 months of
age, your doctor should assess the likelihood of your child having future
dental problems. This may include a dental exam of the mother and her dental
history, as the condition of her teeth can often predict her child's teeth. If
the doctor thinks your child will have dental problems, be sure your child sees
a dentist by his or her first birthday or 6 months after the first
primary teeth appear , whichever comes first. After your first visit, schedule
regular visits every 6 months or as your dentist recommends.
Experts recommend that your child's dental care start at 12 months of
age. Babies with dental problems caused by injury, disease, or a developmental
problem should be seen by a children's (pediatric) dentist right away. If these
dental problems are not limited to the surfaces of the teeth, your baby should
also be seen by a children's doctor (pediatrician)
or your family doctor.
For more information, see the topic: