Oral health - Your baby's new teeth
Over the next two to three years, your baby will have 20 teeth emerge — no wonder they dribble! From incisors in the centre of the mouth to larger canines and molars, these new teeth will allow your little one to get to grips with the world of food!
So, which teeth will come through first? Of course, your baby's top or bottom teeth come in first and they usually come in a pair; if you can see one tiny flash of white, there is typically a second very close.
Teeth often start from the inside and work outwards, so those incisors (four on the bottom and four on the top) should appear between the ages of six and 16 months, with molars appearing from around a year old. In addition, canines make an appearance at about 16 months, making it much easier for your little one to enjoy their solid foods. Finally, the second molars will often settle between 20 and 33 months old.
Your baby's first teeth are here
What a wonderful surprise! You might find your baby wants to celebrate by chewing on everything in sight, even your fingers, so be aware of the dribbling monster your baby will become!
This is a perfect time to introduce their first toothbrush if you have not done so already! At this stage, it is essential to find a soft toothbrush with multi-angled bristles that won't upset their gums and a chunky handle for a firm grip. Ideally, it would help if you started a brushing routine as soon as their teeth come through.
Brushing your baby's teeth
The best way to achieve a good brushing routine is with toothpaste for baby teeth; check the label before buying your toothpaste to check whether it is appropriate for your baby's first teeth and is gentle enough for their thin enamel. Remember, you only need half a pea-size drop of paste for your baby to start.
You'll be doing most of the brushing at first, but this does not mean your baby cannot get involved. Get yourself two toothbrushes, one for you to use and the other for your baby to hold and explore. This is a great way to encourage their independence, which is a skill related to self-care!
Take turns brushing, "My turn, say ahh", count to 10, or sing a short song! "Now it's your turn." Your baby might want to explore brushing your teeth next.
Make sure you allow plenty of time for this experience so your baby does not feel rushed and it's an enjoyable time for you and your baby. Gently talk to your baby, count or sing!
Getting your baby used to a routine will encourage them to become independent and value the importance of brushing their teeth later on.
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