There’s no need to wait until your baby actually has teeth to lay the foundations for good oral or general health. In fact, good nutrition and oral hygiene can start right away. It is up to you to develop the routines that will help protect your child from tooth decay and other oral health problems. So let’s get started!
1) Start Proper Oral Hygiene Habits ASAP
Gently clean your infant’s gums and newly erupting first teeth after each feeding with a water-soaked gauze pad or damp wash cloth.
2) Brush With Care
When your baby’s teeth come in, brush them gently with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush using no more than a thin smear of fluoridated toothpaste.
3) Teach Your Children
When your child turns 3, you can begin to teach your child proper brushing techniques with no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. You should follow up their efforts by gently brushing the teeth again. Modeling correct technique is important. When your child is about 6 years old, he/she should be developing the dexterity to do it alone. You can then introduce flossing.
4) Check Your Water
Determine if the water supply that serves your home is fluoridated. If it is not, discuss supplement options with your dentist. Keep in mind that toothpastes and various foods may also contain fluoride.
5) Fight Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Don’t let your child go to sleep with a pacifier or bottle filled with anything but water. When teeth are frequently exposed to sugar-containing fluids (including breast milk and formula) for long periods, the potential for decay increases dramatically.
6) Avoid Sugar
Understand that if your child ingests sugars, it will take the saliva a minimum of 30 minutes to neutralize the acidity that is created by decay-producing bacteria. A sugary snack every hour can mean your child’s mouth is always acid, increasing the chances for tooth decay.
7) Make a Dental Appointment
Your child should see a dentist around the time of his/her first birthday and then regularly thereafter. It is important to establish a dental home. Your pediatric or general dentist will teach you how to prevent dental disease, check for cavities in the primary teeth and watch for developmental problems, and set a positive precedent for future visits.
8) Prevent Cavities
Ask your dentist about dental sealants and fluoride applications to protect your child’s teeth. Sealants can prevent food from getting stuck in the tiny grooves on the chewing surfaces and topical fluoride will strengthen the enamel against decay.
9) Keep Your Cool
If you feel anxious about a visit to a dental professional, try not to convey these feelings to your child. This is very important for emotional well-being. Encourage your child to discuss any fears he/she might have about visiting a dentist, but don’t put any new fears into his/her head. It is a good rule of thumb not to mention the words “hurt” or “pain” as it raises a possibility he/she might not have thought of.
10) Childproof Your Home
Research has shown that children under age 7 sustain over half of the dental injuries to their primary (baby) teeth playing in close proximity to home furniture.
source: deardoctor.com website
For more articles on dental health, see our main blog page.
We Look Forward To Welcoming You And Your Child…
You will find our office to be a pleasant and caring environment. We know a positive experience can set the tone for your child’s future dental health. That is why our office has been designed to be “kid friendly”. Even more importantly, our pediatric dentists and professional staff have dedicated their careers to helping children. We establish trust with your child by creating a safe and happy place for them to be. The latest in dental technology is combined with genuine compassion and concern.
We are open Monday through Saturday and offer appointments as early as 7:30am
The first checkup is recommended at the first birthday. Our patients generally stay with us until they graduate high school. We are proud to say we are now seeing the children of former patients, as the practice was established in 1973 by Dr. Robert Harmon.
We have 24 hour coverage for our patient’s dental emergencies. There is a pediatric dentist on call at all times. Should you need after hours advice or emergency care, simply dial our telephone number and our message will direct you.
Are we accepting new patients? Yes, absolutely! We are happy to welcome new patients to our practice and we appreciate your referring your friends and family to us.