Your child’s is very important to you. You do all you can to ensure they are current on all their shots and vaccine and you take great care in making sure they don’t get injured or sick. When they are under the weather, you feel bad and do what you can to comfort them as they recover and rest.
Are you taking the same care with their oral health?
Many parents want to take care of their child’s teeth and gums, but either the lack of know-how or the craziness of life gets in the way of them placing as much meticulous care into their child’s oral health as overall health.
How do you properly care for your little one’s teeth and gums so they can have a healthy mouth from the get-go? Here are some suggestions:
Begin Regular Oral Hygiene Early
Keeping your baby’s mouth clean starts before his or her first baby tooth erupts (comes up through the gum). Using a damp, soft washcloth, gently rub the baby’s gums. This will remove germs that accumulate in the mouth and on the surface of the gums.
Take Him or Her to See the Dentist ASAP
Just like not waiting for your baby’s first tooth to come in, you should take your son or daughter into the dentist office before their first birthday. Most children have all or most of their baby teeth in by one year of age.
The baby’s first dental appointment will likely not involve any dental work, though a brief exam may occur. The purpose of this first visit is to get your little one acquainted with the dentist and the dental office.
Watch Their Diets
Babies and toddlers shouldn’t be constantly drinking milk or juice all day and night. While your baby may crave milk or juice at bedtime, it is suggested they go to bed with a bottle of water instead.
The excessive sugar in juice and milk can lead to the build-up of plaque and germs which can cause tooth decay on their little teeth.
When a baby tooth gets decay, that decay can transfer onto the permanent, adult tooth growing in underneath it.
Teach Proper At-Home Oral Hygiene
Your dentist can show you how to model proper oral hygiene for your children. It is also important to establish a daily oral hygiene routine early on so caring for their teeth and gums will become a natural habit for your son or daughter.
There are many tips and tricks out there to help make at-home oral hygiene fun for your kids including having them pick out their toothbrush and toothpaste and brush your teeth together as a family to the tune of your child’s favorite song.
Have Your Son or Daughter See the Dentist Every Six Months
After your child’s introductory dental office visit, before his or her first birthday, your child should come in every six months for a professional dental cleaning and oral exam.
It can be difficult for little ones to get the hang of brushing their own teeth. In fact, it’s recommended that children begin brushing their own teeth, unassisted around age eight. Before then, teeth brushing can be a challenge. Children will likely miss multiple spots either because they can’t reach or out of frustration or boredom.
To help children maintain a clean mouth, dental sealants are often recommended. Dental sealants are a clear, thin, plastic film that is placed over the teeth. Sealants can last many years and are often removed when the child can adequately care for their teeth and gums.
Your child’s dental health is important. It is never too early to invest in your child’s oral health which will set them on the right path of long-term tooth and gum health.
Regular visits to your pediatric dentist is an important element of ensuring that your son or daughter’s oral health remains in tip-top shape.