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Infants (Birth to 24 Months)

During the first two years of life, your child’s mouth will undergo a lot of changes. As a leading provider of dentistry for children near Coppell, TX, Dr. Linda Steele can educate you on how to provide gentle dental care for your child even before the first tooth erupts. Here are some things you can do to ensure that your baby’s teeth come in healthy and stay that way:

Before the Teeth Erupt

In order to prevent the growth and spread of bacteria in your child’s mouth, you can begin cleaning it on a regular basis. Not only will this type of gentle dental care prevent bacteria from causing any potential damage, it will also draw your child’s attention to the mouth and begin the formation of healthy oral hygiene habits. It is recommended that you use a damp washcloth to wipe any bacteria off of your child’s gums at least once a day. The object of preventative care is to prevent disease and avoid any potential health risks.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay/Early Childhood Caries Disease

ECC is a serious dental disease caused by frequent and long-term exposure to breast milk, formula, milk or other drinks containing sugar. The oversaturation of the gums and combination of bacteria, saliva and sugar decays the baby teeth. Children who go to bed with a cup or bottle are at higher risk for developing Early Childhood Caries Disease. The best protection from ECC is to:

• clean your baby’s gums/teeth after feedings
• provide your child with a nutritious diet
• offer only water at bedtime and between meals
• discontinue the use of bottles, sippy cups and pacifiers by the first birthday

While the Teeth are Erupting

Your child’s teeth usually begin to erupt anywhere between six and 12 months after birth. Typically, these teeth will emerge in small groups until all 20 have become visible. The process of teething is generally uncomfortable and often causes irritability or a loss of appetite. Here are some gentle dental care tips that can help ease the discomfort:

• Provide your child with a teething toy
• Give them cold water
• Administer Infant or Children’s Tylenol

These are solutions that can help ease any pain or discomfort your child might experience while teething.

After the Teeth Have Erupted

It is generally recommended that you begin taking your child in for regular checkups once the first tooth erupts. This usually happens sometime within the first 12 months. It is also important that you begin monitoring your child’s oral health and teaching them proper hygiene. This means brushing and flossing after eating and before bedtime. It is also best to minimize the use of Sippy cups, as these can cause cavities and misalignment.

The First 24 Months

Visits to a pediatric dentist should begin around the age 12 to 18 months. As a leading provider of dentistry for children near Coppell, TX, Dr. Steele can provide the best gentle dental care to ensure that your child remains happy and healthy. Contact us and schedule your child’s checkup today!

Birth to 6 Months

  • Clean baby's mouth with gauze or a warm washcloth after feedings and at bed time. 
  • Consult your pediatrician about fluoride supplements.
  • Regulate feeding habits.

6 to 12 Months

  • Eruption of the first tooth will usually occur between 6 and 12 months.
  • Schedule your first appointment with the pediatric dentist for a well-baby exam.
  • Begin brushing teeth after each feeding and at bedtime. 
  • Begin flossing between teeth that touch.
  • Baby is walking now! Be alert to dental injuries!

12 to 24 Months

  • Begin regular dental visits every six months.
  • Hold yourself accountable to a routine of cleanings and exams.
  • Most primary teeth have erupted at this age.
  • Start using rice-sized portions of toothpaste with fluoride.
  • Monitor thumb sucking and pacifier dependence. 

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Contact Us

Steele Dental Specialties
Linda A. Steele, DDS
225 East State Highway 121, Suite 150
Coppell, TX 75019
Call us now: (972) 315-3355


Office Hours

Monday: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Tuesday: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Wednesday: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Thursday: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Friday: 8:30am - 5:30pm

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