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Take Care of Baby Teeth

Healthy Baby TeethTooth decay is declining everywhere except among preschoolers. Proper care of your child’s first teeth is important to ensure the health of permanent teeth in later years.

You won’t see a newborn’s teeth, but enamel and dentin are already forming in the jaw. Teething is just months away. Use a clean dry wash cloth to wipe baby’s gums after every feeding and continue as teeth begin to emerge.

Central incisors arrive first, at nine to ten months, with lateral incisors about two months later. Once teeth appear, use a soft toothbrush on them twice daily. Encourage the child to develop the habit of taking time with the task.

Choose fluoridated toothpaste—a tiny, pea-size squeeze is enough—and push it down into the bristles so kids won’t lick it off.

Begin dental exams before the child’s first birthday, and continue every six months. This allows us to fix problems early.

First molars usually arrive at 15-16 months, cuspids (canines) at 18-19 months, and second molars shortly after a child’s second birthday. During this phase we can apply sealants to the teeth, which help to ward off decay.

When kids are old enough to write their name, teach them how to brush—and continue the habit of brushing after every meal.

Encourage a taste for fresh veggies and fruits, and allow only sugar-free gum.

If straightening is needed, starting while some of the baby teeth are still in helps to create a sound framework for permanent teeth when they arrive.

When kids are old enough to write their name, teach them how
to brush…

About William J. Black, DDS

William Black earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis in 1988. He then went on to the University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry, where he graduated in 1992. Following dental school, Dr. Black served in the Untied States Navy for 3 years as a dentist. He then settled in the Sacramento area where he opened his practice in 1996. Dr. Black is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), California Dental Association (CDA), Sacramento District Dental Society (SDDS), Academy of General Dentistry, and American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). He is currently pursuing Mastership with the Academy of General Dentistry and accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

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