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Taking care of your child’s teeth at an early age is the best way to ensure a healthy smile into their adult years. The health of baby teeth is extremely influential on the development and eruption patterns of the permanent teeth below them.
After breast or bottle-feeding, cleanse your child’s mouth with a damp washcloth. The massaging action helps sore gums as well as prevents infections like thrust while also helping your infant transition into toothbrushing. Most infants have their first teeth erupt between 6-12 months of age, but every child is different.
Choose the Best Toothpaste
Before your child knows how to rinse and spit out toothpaste, choose one that is fluoride free. Many training toothpastes are flavored to encourage toothbrushing but eliminate the risks of ingesting fluoride (which can cause stomach irritation or in large amounts affect the appearance of teeth.) Older preschoolers that are able to swish toothpaste out of their mouths can then transition to fluoridated toothpaste. Even in small doses, fluoride helps promote healthy tooth enamel and decreases the risk of developing demineralized enamel or tooth decay.
Brushing alone does not clean all surfaces of the teeth. The areas between the teeth (especially the back molars) are highly prone to develop tooth decay when not kept clean. Flossing with a floss pick is an easy way to clean these areas each day. If bleeding occurs, it’s typically due to gingivitis.
Don’t Be Afraid to Help
Let your child brush on for two minutes twice a day. However, until your child has the dexterity to tie their own shoes, you should follow up behind them to ensure they are actually clean.
Schedule Routine Dental Checkups
Have your child visit a pediatric dentist at least twice each year for a routine examination, x-rays and dental cleaning. Regular preventive care is the best way to ensure a healthy smile, and catch tooth decay at its earliest stages, making it easier to treat.
Categories: All Posts, Dental Health, Dental Health at Home, Kids Dental Health