Children's Dental Care
Dental health is important at every age. By bringing your child to the dentist early, you can prevent common oral health issues like cavities. Routine six-month visits are also a great opportunity to teach kids about dentistry, and encourage good oral hygiene habits. Here are some of the many benefits:
Preventative Care: Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help prevent dental problems before they become more serious. A dentist can identify early signs of tooth decay or gum disease and provide treatment before they develop into more significant problems.
Early Detection of Dental Problems: A dentist can detect dental issues early on, such as cavities, misaligned teeth, and bite problems. Early detection can prevent these issues from getting worse and potentially causing more significant problems in the future.
Oral Health Education: A dentist can provide education on proper oral hygiene techniques, including brushing and flossing. This education can help prevent dental problems and promote good oral health habits that can last a lifetime.
Developmental Monitoring: A dentist can monitor the growth and development of your child's teeth and jaws, which can help identify potential issues that may require orthodontic treatment.
Promote Positive Attitudes Toward Dental Care: By visiting the dentist regularly, your child can become more familiar and comfortable with dental visits, promoting positive attitudes toward dental care.
Overall, seeing a dentist is an essential aspect of maintaining good oral health and preventing dental problems. Regular checkups and cleanings, combined with proper oral hygiene habits, can help ensure that your child has healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime.
DENTAL CARE FOR YOUR BABY
Congratulations on the arrival of your baby! Are you prepared for the arrival of your baby’s first tooth? Follow these guidelines and your son or daughter will be on the way to a lifetime of healthy smiles!
Caring for Gums
Even before your baby’s first tooth appears, the gums can benefit from your careful attention. After breast- or bottle-feeding, wrap one finger with a clean, damp washcloth or piece of gauze and gently rub it across your baby’s gum tissue. This practice both clears your little one’s mouth of any fragments of food and begins the process for building good daily oral care habits.
Baby’s First Tooth
When that first tooth makes an entrance, it’s time to upgrade to a baby toothbrush. There are usually two options: a long-handled toothbrush that you and your baby can hold at the same time, and a finger-puppet-like brush that fits over the tip of your pointer finger. In each case, the bristles are soft and few.
At this stage, toothpaste isn’t necessary; just dip the brush in water before brushing. If your little one doesn’t react well to the introduction of a toothbrush, don’t give up. Switch back to a damp washcloth for a few months and try the toothbrush again.
During the teething process, your child will want to chew on just about anything, and a baby toothbrush with a teether can become a favorite toy during this period.
Brushing with Toothpaste
When a few more teeth appear, you can start using toothpaste with your child’s brush. At this stage, use only a tiny amount of fluoridated toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice). From the beginning, have your little one practice spitting the toothpaste out after brushing, which should not be swallowed at any age.
Don’t give your baby any sort of sweetened liquids such as flavored drinks or soda. Even the sugars present in fruit juice, formula, and milk (this goes for breast milk as well) can cause decay, so regular teeth and gum cleaning is vital. Also, make sure your baby never goes to bed with a bottle; sugary liquids in prolonged contact with teeth are a guarantee for early-childhood decay, also called baby-bottle caries.
First Visit to the Dentist
It’s recommended that you bring your baby in for a visit within six months of the first tooth’s eruption – usually around his or her first birthday. Since decay can occur in even the smallest of teeth, the earlier your baby visits us, the more likely he or she is to avoid problems. We’ll look for any signs of early problems with your baby’s oral heath, and check in with you about the best way to care for your little one's teeth. Remember that preparing for each dental visit with a positive attitude goes a long way toward making your child comfortable with regular checkups.
Setting a Good Example
As part of the natural learning process, little ones are expert mimics, and you can take advantage of this talent. Brush and floss daily while your child is watching, and he or she will intuit at an early age the importance of your good habits. As soon as your child shows interest, offer a toothbrush of his or her own and encourage your toddler to “brush” with you. (You’ll find toothbrushes with chunky, short handles that are easy to grip.) Most children don’t have the dexterity necessary to thoroughly clean their own teeth until they’re about six or seven, so you’ll have to do that part of the job. Try different tactics to make brushing fun: flavored toothpaste, a toothbrush with a favorite character on it, or singing songs about brushing. The primary goal is to instill healthy oral habits at an early age to set your child up for a lifetime of healthy, cavity-free teeth!