Good oral hygiene is a healthy habit that is best introduced at a young age. By establishing a regular routine in infancy and adhering to it through the preteen years, you can help your child stay out of the dentist chair any more than is absolutely necessary.
Baby teeth begin to break through the gums around six months, but it is important to start to practice good oral hygiene even before then.
After feedings, wipe a baby’s gums with a soft washcloth, wrapped around a finger. This will help to remove bacteria, which can cause tooth decay as teeth begin to erupt, and prevent this sticky substance from clinging to an infant’s gums.
Once baby teeth begin to appear, parents can use a soft-bristle toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day. A smear of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice is all that is necessary.
Getting a baby used to oral hygiene as part of a daily routine should make it easier to transition them into regular brushing of the teeth.
During a pediatric dental visit, you can expect a dentist to:
As infants begin to walk and talk, they can also be introduced to practicing good oral health habits.
But until you’re comfortable that your toddler can brush on his or her own, continue to brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a child-size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
At this stage of development, it’s recommended that parents continue to supervise brushing until toddlers become more capable of doing it themselves—usually around the age of six. Caregivers can begin brushing toddlers’ teeth in the morning and at night as soon as they start to break through the gums.
Continue to encourage your children to brush their teeth twice a day with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. When they have two or more teeth that touch, begin cleaning in between them with gentle dental floss.
As children grow older and more of their permanent teeth come in, a rigorous daily dental hygiene routine is crucial to keeping teeth and gums healthy. However, it tends to be difficult to keep preteens interested in oral hygiene.
Try these tips to keep your tween on track:
And, of course, many of these oral hygiene tips, like flossing regularly are recommended for parents, too. One of the best ways to encourage your child to have healthy teeth and gums is to set a good example first.
Advantage Care Health Centers provides routine and preventive dental care services to children. Our team strives every day to make our patients feel comfortable and safe in our state-of-the-art dental suites. If you would like to find out more about how our pediatric dental services can help your child, request an appointment today.