Drooling Babies and Early Brushing Habits
Answered by Dr. Tanya L. DeSanto, DDS
Question: I am a new mother, and my 3-month old son is drooling everywhere. I was wondering if his teeth are coming in? Do I need to be brushing his teeth at this early age?
Answer: YOU BET! Brushing begins at the first sign of a tooth and continues for the rest of his life. This is where good habits begin! The average age that a tooth erupts is about 6 months old. However, this JUST an average. I have seen numerous children in my career without any teeth at their one-year visit.
Your son however, is at the other end of the spectrum. If he is drooling heavily at 3 months of age, chances are he will be an early bird. Most often (again only an average), his first teeth that erupt will be his lower two front teeth (mandibular central incisors). For comfort and pacification, keep several teething rings refrigerated and let him teeth on them as needed throughout the day. If it is a cool teether, it is very comforting for the infant. And of course, LOTS of bibs!
Brushing at this age rests on the parent's shoulders. There is a very specific toothbrush I strongly recommend for all parents to use for their infant. It is an oval shaped brush, easy for the tiny fingers to hold, with soft bristles on one end and a teether at the other end. This style is important for several reasons. The oval shape prevents choking and pushing down the throat (as a straight brush would and is dangerous at infancy).
He can use it as a teether, as well. He will most likely use both ends as he is cutting teeth. This allows him to get used to bristles in the mouth and it does effectively do some plaque removal. As the parent, you will need to brush his teeth daily. In early infancy, sometimes a thin baby washcloth around the fingertip is best. As more teeth erupt, advance to the circular toothbrush. I give these out to all of our parents for the babies at dental check ups. If you are having a hard time locating this type of brush, please contact me at DRTANYA@sbcglobal.net . Good Luck and make brushing a FUN event. Tanya DeSanto DDS
Submitted by Springfield Moms sponsor Dr. Tanya L. DeSanto, DDS. Tanya is the mother of Emma, Grace and Samuel. She is a family and cosmetic dentist in Springfield, but her favorite job is mom! Tanya is married to pediatrician Craig Batterman. Originally from Chicago, they have called Springfield home for more than a decade.
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