Between 6 and 12 months old, your baby should begin sprouting its first teeth. When you see the first tooth erupting, you might start to wonder about the best ways to care for your child’s teeth as they grow.
Developing healthy oral habits early on is one of the most important things to you can do to prevent tooth decay and damage to your child’s teeth. But what are some of the best ways to care for their teeth? How can you teach them healthy dental habits?
In this article, you’ll learn more about how to care for your child’s teeth from your Georgetown dentist.
Why Care For Your Child’s Teeth?
Many parents think baby teeth are not as important as adult teeth, but this isn’t true. The health of baby teeth impacts the health of adult teeth, so it’s very important to teach children to care for them.
Tooth decay is when teeth decay or rot due to excess bacteria, plaque, and tartar buildup. Without health habits like brushing, flossing, and eating healthy foods, any child can experience tooth decay and develop cavities.
Cavities are holes in your teeth caused by bacteria. They cause pain, make it difficult to talk or chew, impact the look of your teeth, and may cause serious tooth decay if they’re not treated. Untreated cavities in baby teeth also harm adult teeth.
Additionally, without proper dental care, tooth decay can lead to other problems. Bacteria can enter the body and cause other health issues as well. Some children lose teeth or develop gum diseases.
Basic Oral Hygiene Tips for Kids
Establishing healthy oral habits for your children early on is essential to avoid tooth decay and other dental problems. But what are some ways to set them up for success when it comes to caring for their teeth? Here are some tips and tricks from your kid’s dentist in Georgetown.
Teach Them to Brush
Children are imitators, so teaching them to brush their teeth is best when done together. You can start brushing your child’s teeth gently as soon as they have their first tooth.
Start by helping them brush their teeth twice a day, with kid-friendly fluoride toothpaste, for two minutes. Fluoride strengthens growing teeth and it’s safe for children. For babies, you’ll want to clean their gums with a warm washcloth gently after every meal.
Letting your child pick out their own age-appropriate toothbrush gives them an empowered mindset about brushing their teeth. Use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to minimize swallowing, and teach them to spit it out.
You can start helping your child floss once they have they have teeth next to each other. Floss picks come with pre-measured floss that makes it easy for children to get in between teeth.
It’s recommended that parents supervise children brushing their teeth until they’re about 8 years old and have properly mastered toothbrushing.
Visit the Pediatric Dentist
A pediatric dentist is a children’s dentist. While general dentists see a variety of patients of every age, pediatric dentists understand child biology and development at a deeper level. They’re able to detect dental problems early on and they have the skills to relate to children.
Once your child has their first tooth, you can schedule their first dental visit. Children should see the dentist twice a year for cleanings and examinations to ensure that their teeth are growing properly.
If your child does have a dental issue that needs a specialist, your pediatric dentist can recommend one. A pediatric dentist for lip tie in children is a great example of why pediatric dentists are the best choice for kids. When searching for a pediatric dentist tongue tie near me, you can feel confident knowing that pediatric dentists understand this delicate condition.
As your child grows and they’re ready for orthodontia work like braces, your pediatric dentist may also have a recommendation.
Seeing a Lexington pediatric dentist throughout your child’s lifetime gives you confidence that they know what’s best for your child.
Food and Drink
Food and drink choices play a large role in keeping teeth healthy. The average child consumes about 17 teaspoons of sugar per day. Keeping the sugar to a minimum by eating healthy, whole foods can preserve the health of your child’s teeth.
Avoid fruit juices that are high in sugar, candies, and other sweets. If your child does consume sugar, have them brush their teeth after to remove excess sugar. Foods that are sources of calcium like dairy products and yogurt are great choices because they strengthen teeth.
Sugar residue is one of the main causes of cavities. Bacteria produce acids that eat away at the enamel or the hard surface of the tooth. When sugar isn’t removed from the surface of the tooth, cavities begin forming.
The best way to prevent cavities is by developing healthy habits like brushing and avoiding too much sugar. Taking the time to teach your child proper brushing methods saves them a lifetime of potential dental problems that could negatively affect their health as adults.
Back teeth are more subject to cavities than front teeth. Because of this, most pediatric dentists offer sealants that cover the back teeth and prevent cavities. Talk to your pediatric dentist about sealants for your child.
Dental Problems to Look For
Sometimes kids get cavities or experience other dental problems. Here are some things to be aware of when it comes to your child’s dental health.
Pain for any reason in your child’s teeth should be cared for by their dentist. If your child is experiencing pain in their teeth, contact your dentist.
Every child develops at their own pace and that includes getting teeth. If you’re concerned that your child isn’t getting their teeth, you can schedule a consultation with your dentist.
Spots on your child’s teeth or discolored teeth might be an indication of tooth decay or other problems. Your dentist can diagnose what’s going on.
See A Georgetown Dentist Today
Teaching your children to brush and care for their teeth may prevent larger dental problems later in life. The time you invest in helping them with their teeth is never time wasted.
Do you need to schedule your child’s first dental visit? Contact our Georgetown dentist today and let us care for you and your child.