It is essential to practice proper oral hygiene throughout our lives. These good habits start at a young age, so it is important to take your child’s oral health seriously. This includes caring for your infant’s first baby teeth as well as teaching toddlers how to brush correctly. Even though these teeth are temporary, they can help set the path for permanent teeth in the future.
For some tips on how to care for your child’s teeth, read on below.
Find a Pediatric Dentist
Not all dentists specialize in pediatric dentistry. In fact, it requires two to three years of additional schooling in order to become a pediatric dentist. You will want to find a dentist who specializes in children’s oral health to ensure that your son or daughter is receiving proper care.
Make an appointment within your child’s first year
You should try to see a dentist before your child turns one. Many people suggest seeing a dentist as soon as the first tooth comes in. This can go a long way in determining if there are any early signs of potential issues down the road.
Start brushing right away
It can be helpful to brush your baby’s gums even before the first tooth comes in. Use a soft toothbrush made specially for infants. Once teeth start coming in, you can apply a small dot of toothpaste and clean them twice a day. As toddlers get older, they may want to start brushing on their own. Make sure to monitor them and to help them if they are missing spots.
Limit unhealthy foods
As with the rest of your child’s body, his or her teeth are sensitive to the foods that you provide. Sugary, starchy, or acidic snacks can damage the enamel and cause tooth decay. Even though these are baby teeth, that is important to avoid! Try to minimize exposure to these foods and stick to a balanced diet.
Protect your child’s teeth
As your children age, they might become interested in physical activity such as sports. Even in low-contact sports, it is important that your child wears a mouthguard to protect his or her teeth from unexpected blows. The initial discomfort is far preferable to losing a permanent tooth!
Schedule Regular Checkups
Children should see a dentist every six months for regular cleaning and to prevent cavities or other serious issues. Your pediatric dentist will be able to monitor the progress of new baby teeth or permanent teeth and can recommend the best course of action if something is out of the ordinary.
When your child is young, it is up to you to teach them the importance of oral hygiene. Even if it seems like a chore, make sure to brush their teeth twice daily and to floss properly. When they are old enough to brush and floss for themselves, you should still remind them to do so regularly. Rewarding them for taking care of their teeth can be a great way to help them develop good lifelong habits.