Your child's teeth are important for their health and well-being. They help your little one eat, speak, and smile. They can also affect your child's self-esteem and confidence.
But your child's teeth are also vulnerable to decay and damage. Caring for your child's teeth is essential from an early age. You can help your child prevent tooth decay and keep their teeth healthy and strong by teaching them good oral hygiene habits that will last a lifetime.
You can care for your child's teeth at home by following these simple steps:
Clean your baby's gums with a clean cloth or gauze twice daily before they have any teeth. This helps remove harmful bacteria and prepares your baby for brushing.
Start brushing your baby's teeth twice daily when they show up. Use an infant toothbrush with soft bristles and a small amount of infant toothpaste.
Teach your youngsters to brush their teeth twice daily starting around three years old. Use a kid-sized toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
Floss your child's teeth once a day whenever two of their teeth touch each other. This cleans out all food particles and plaque a toothbrush cannot clean and helps prevent cavities.
Give your child healthy, low-sugar foods and drinks. Avoid sticky, sugary snacks and beverages that can cause tooth decay.
Limit the frequency and duration of bottle-feeding. Avoid putting your little ones to sleep with a bottle or breastfeeding them overnight. This can cause "baby bottle tooth decay" or "nursing caries."
Encourage your child to use a cup or a straw to drink from when they are six months old. This helps prevent liquid from pooling around the child's teeth and causing decay.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), children should visit a dentist as soon as any teeth appear or by their first birthday. This will get them used to the dental setting and the dentist. The dentist can also look for any problems in your child's teeth and gums and give you tips on how to prevent decay.
Take your youngster to the dentist every six months for regular checkups and cleanings. The dentist or hygienist will examine your child's teeth and gums, clean off any plaque or tartar, apply fluoride or sealants, and take X-rays if needed.
The dentist will show you and your little one how to brush and floss correctly. They will also address any concerns about your child's oral health.
Some children may feel nervous or scared about going to the dentist. They may worry about pain, strangers, or unfamiliar noises and tools.
You can make your child feel more at ease and relaxed by using the advice below:
Pick a pediatric or family dentist who has experience with children.
Describe what will occur during the dental appointment.
Watch movies or read books together about going to the dentist.
Pretend with your child and role-play a dental visit.
Praising appropriate and cooperative behavior will help make their visit to the dentist a positive experience.
Your child's teeth are important for their health and well-being. They aid your child in eating, talking, and smiling. They also affect your child's self-esteem and confidence. Caring for your child's teeth is essential from an early age. You can help your child prevent decay and keep their teeth healthy and strong. You can also teach your child good oral hygiene habits that will last a lifetime.
For more on pediatric dental care, visit Jonny Fisher DDS in our Pullman, Washington office. Call (509) 383-8300 to schedule an appointment today.