Did you know that oral health care for your child is just as important as it is for an adult? Proper children’s oral health care can mean a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums, plus preventing potentially costly restorative treatments in the future. Read on to learn the recommended oral health care basics for your child.
- Your child’s first visit to a pediatric dentist should be no later than when they turn one year old, whether or not the first baby teeth have appeared.
- Baby’s need their gums cleaned, too. Use a lint-free cloth or a pad of fresh gauze to wipe gums after each feeding gently.
- Children should brush twice daily, for a minimum of two minutes each session.
- Avoid letting your child fall asleep with their bottle. If they fall asleep while drinking, simply remove the bottle from their grasp for cleaning.
- By your child’s first birthday, they should be trained to use a training cup instead of a bottle.
- Incorporate a minimum of five servings of fresh fruit or vegetables into the diet each day. This has been shown to reduce the incidence of cavities in children.
- Dental sealants are encouraged for children. Talk to your pediatric dentist about this preventative treatment option.
- When wiggly teeth first begin to occur at about the age of six, allow the tooth to fall out naturally instead of forcing it. This minimizes pain, bleeding, and trauma.
- Baby teeth are subject to the same bacteria as adult teeth. For this reason, gentle brushing, rinsing, and dental sealants are recommended.
- Children younger than two years old should not use fluoride toothpaste unless your pediatric dentist recommends it.
- Children are likely to eat toothpaste flavored like grape, bubblegum, and strawberry. Either opt for unflavored children’s toothpaste or supervise tooth brushing every time and put away the toothpaste out of your child’s reach, when not in use.
- If your drinking water is not fluoridated, you should ask your child’s dentist about fluoride supplements.
- Help children develop good eating habits by teaching them with your example.
- Let small children watch you brush your teeth, so they learn the basics of how to care for teeth.
- Make brushing and rinsing part of the bedtime routine, just like washing the face and hands and using the toilet. This will encourage good oral hygiene habits later on in life.
- The presence of a lisp and an inability or slowness to learn how to speak could indicate a problem with the teeth or gums. A pediatric dentist can help to diagnose such a potential issue.
- If your child suddenly refuses a favorite food, this could be another sign that there is an oral sore or another mouth issue. Schedule a dentist visit for an examination.
- Make wearing a mouth guard part of the rule for engaging in school sports to protect your child’s teeth and gums.
Before your child is fully able to care for their teeth and gums, it’s your responsibility as a parent to ensure their oral health. These recommended health care basics will help you to help your child. If you have questions about your child’s teeth or need to schedule an appointment, contact a Greater Baltimore Prosthodontics today.