1. Make oral care a part of a daily routine.
Let’s face it, kids can be tough. Getting into a routine early can help establish good oral hygiene habits and will increase the chances that these healthy practices will continue when the responsibility gets passed onto your child. These practices can start before teeth erupt by using a washcloth to gently wipe the gums, especially as part of a bedtime routine.
2. As teeth arrive, use the correct toothbrush.
Your babies teeth will start to arrive around 6 months (but this can vary greatly from child to child). Use a toothbrush specifically designed for babies. These brushes have smaller heads for smaller mouths with extra soft bristles that are gentle on those young sensitive gums. We recommend that you brush your child’s teeth until he or she is able to brush properly themselves (usually not until they can tie their own shoes). Training toothpaste does not have fluoride. We recommend the use of fluoride toothpaste while YOU are doing the brushing; training toothpaste is good for your kids to learn to start to brush on their own, without concern of ingesting excess fluoride. Use only a “smear” for very young children who are still swallowing the toothpaste and a pea sized amount of toothpaste as they grow older and learn to spit it out. There is fluoride put in most city water supplies and is safe, the amount of toothpaste in a smear is a small enough and ok to be ingested twice daily. Talk to you dentist about sources of fluoride intake should you have any concerns.
3. Know what tooth decay looks like.
Be aware of the signs of baby tooth decay (white spots on front teeth, stains in pits on back teeth) and stay up to date on dental exams.
4. Establish a dental home.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends establishing a “dental home” by age one or when the first tooth appears, whichever occurs first. A dental home is a practice that you and your child are familiar with and have established a relationship with the dentist. Finding a practice that YOU TRUST early in your child’s life will allow the dentist to catch potential issues before they become bigger problems. Young children learning to walk often have accidents due. It is important to have a comfortable place to go in the case of an emergency.
We would love to be your child’s dental home! Call us for an appointment today!