Infant Dental Care
At Little Fish Dental, Dr. Trout and her compassionate team offer infant dental care services to ensure your child’s smile is protected and healthy from their first tooth eruption. Located in Rocklin, we serve growing smiles with proactive dentistry to create the right foundations for optimal oral health and beautiful smiles.
Infant dental care starts with the parents, so contact our Rocklin practice to schedule your child’s first dental visit today.
Caring for Your Infant’s Smile
Although your baby will begin to receive their teeth around six months of age, caring for their smile begins before then. There are some steps you can take to ensure your child’s smile is healthy prior to their first visit to the dentist, which should happen before their first birthday.
Keeping your baby’s gums healthy should begin right after birth. As they are feeding and gaining essential nutrients to grow, it’s important to keep their mouth clean. Here are a few conditions to be conscious of during their first year:
Teething – An important milestone in your child’s health is the eruption of their first teeth. This can happen between three and nine months old and can be an uncomfortable time for them. Your child may become fussy and restless, drool more, or may lose their appetite.
To soothe their sore teeth and discomfort, gently rub the gums with a clean finger, an infant gum massager, or provide a teething ring.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay – Also known as early childhood dental caries, this is caused by frequent exposure to sugary liquids like milk, formula, fruit juices, or not properly cleaning your child’s teeth after eating. This can seriously damage their teeth and overall oral health.
Avoid tooth decay by never letting your child fall asleep with a bottle or to nurse as they snooze. If they need to suck on something to fall asleep, fill the bottle with water or use a pacifier. Our Rocklin pediatric dentist can treat cavities with tooth-col-md-6ored fillings and protect your child’s smile with sealants.
Keeping Your Baby’s First Teeth Clean
When your child’s teeth first arrive, take a clean, damp washcloth and wipe along their upper and lower gums. This should be done twice a day, once after their first feeding, then again after their last. As more teeth emerge, you may start brushing them twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and water. Do not use fluoride toothpaste until your child reaches the age of two.
Pacifiers are not recommended as they interfere in development of normal oral posture function and swallowing. Pacifier use may lead to low tongue posture, incorrect swallowing patterns, incorrect tooth alignment and incorrect jaw position and development. If your child continues to use the pacifier it can become more of a habit than a developmental need. Parents should aim to rid the pacifier before age one to avoid the following:
- Increased risk of mild ear infection
- Improper growth of the mouth
- Misalignment of teeth
- Dental cross bite or open bite
- Development of thumb sucking habit
To help break the pacifier habit, you may try the following:
- Limit pacifier use gradually over time
- Reduce pacifier satisfaction by piercing the pacifier’s nipple
- Go “col-md-6d turkey” and remove all pacifiers from child's access
Babies have natural rooting and sucking reflexes, which can cause them to put their thumbs or fingers into their mouths — sometimes even before birth. Because thumb sucking makes babies feel secure, some might eventually develop a habit of thumb sucking when they're in need of soothing or going to sleep.
Thumb sucking may lead to low tongue posture, incorrect swallowing patterns, incorrect tooth alignment and incorrect jaw development.