Dental Development Ages 0-6

Newborns & Infants up to 12 months
 
Healthy habits for gums and teeth start right from birth. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends limiting sugary foods and drinks and directs parents not to put a baby to bed with a bottle. 
 
Before an infant’s teeth come through the gums, the fluoride ingested in foods and beverages has already made their tooth enamel stronger and more resistant to tooth decay. After babies’ teeth erupt, the fluoride in drinking water helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel. 
 
Teething typically starts between 4-10 months old. Once your baby’s teeth have come through the gums, brush them with plain water and a soft bristled toothbrush twice daily. It may be tempting to let your baby chew on the toothbrush, but loose bristles can be a choking hazard, so be sure to put it away upright to store in between brushing.
 
Parents are encouraged to bring their children in for their first visit by their first birthday. Your Indianapolis dentists are a part of your overall healthcare strategy and can teach you how to care for your infant’s teeth, talk to you about thumb sucking or pacifier use, and discuss how to prevent accidents that could damage teeth.  
 
Babies will become accustomed to brushing as part of their normal routine, which will make it easier to maintain for a lifetime. 
 
Toddlers & Young Children up to age 7
 
By age 3, most children have all 20 of their baby teeth. A healthy home care routine consists of brushing for two minutes, two times per day, and flossing at least once per day. 
 
As they get older and more independent, your children will want to be in charge of their toothbrush. Supervise brushing until you are confident your child can perform the routine without intervention. You may need to provide pointers and reminders for best practices. These will quickly become habits they hold for life. 
 
Most children lose their first tooth around age 6. If you have any concerns or questions about losing teeth, space or care for incoming permanent teeth, ask your dentist. Your pediatric dentist monitors your oral health just like your pediatrician does a well-check every year. Visit your Indianapolis dentists regularly to stay current on developing health issues and growth. 
 

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