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It is important to get baby used to sight and smells of the dentist from an early age and is worth getting seen as soon as the baby teeth start to come out, which is normally around 6 months. Not only can the dentist check that the teeth are developing normally, but they also provide some oral hygiene advice . However, if there are any concerns before this, do not hesitate to see the dentist sooner.
Baby teeth normally start erupting at around 6 months and the teething pains can be quite distressing for mother and baby. Teething rings and gels can help sooth your baby’s pain and occasionally pain killers may be required. If this is the case, always follow the instructions that come with the medicine and if you are ever unsure contact your GP, Dentist or Pharmacist.
If possible at all, avoid dummies and thumbsucking as if they are used for a persistent amount of time they can affect the positioning of teeth later on in life. There are some “orthodontic” dummies which reduce the risk of developing such problems and can be used as an alternative.
Some babies are born with teeth, known as neonatal teeth. They are present at birth, are not permanent and are considered as “extra” teeth. They do not normally cause any problems, but may make breast feeding difficult and or painful. They usually fall out on their own but if they are persistently a problem it would be worth contacting your midwife or dentist to get some extra advice.
Cleaning your babies teeth should be done as soon as they start to erupt. A pea sized amount of child friendly fluoride toothpaste should be used the last thing before bed and once in the morning. Encouraging them to get into good habits from an early age is beneficial so get them involved too!
Breast milk substitutes given through a bottle can contain sugars, so its important to clean your baby’s teeth afterwards. Breast milk is the best food for babies containing all the extra nutrients your baby needs. Natural sugars are also present but are unlikely to be harmful to your baby’s teeth as long as they are kept clean.
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