If you’re thinking about having a child or already have a child, you want to give them the best care possible, and that means taking care of their oral health just as you do their physical and mental health. To help point you in the right direction, we’ve put together a brief guide to children’s dental health.
Any guide to children’s dental health usually underscores the importance of establishing positive dental habits when your child is as young as possible. Ideally, you should clean young babies mouths with gauze or a clean cloth after feeding. Brushing should start with the first tooth, and flossing should begin when two teeth touch each other.
If possible, you should schedule your child’s first dental appointment and professional cleaning around their first birthday or when their first tooth emerges. If you’ve already missed that window, it’s okay — it’s never too late to get started.
Help Your Child
You should encourage your child to be an active participant in their oral health, but you should also help them. Young children usually don’t have the attention spans or the fine motor skills to brush or floss their own teeth effectively. You may want to let them brush, but then, follow up with their own work. Even grade schoolers can benefit from a weekly brush from their parents.
Remember Baby Teeth Are Important
Unfortunately, some parents think baby teeth aren’t important because they fall out. Although these teeth do get replaced by adult teeth, it’s still important to keep them healthy. If a baby tooth is decayed, that can spread to the rest of the mouth. Additionally, the baby teeth act as placeholders for the adult teeth coming down the road.
When talking with your child about dental health and hygiene, always try to be as positive as possible. Do not introduce your fears to your child. If your child has anxiety about going to the dentist, help them address the anxiety in positive ways through meditation, grounding exercises, and medication if necessary. Your dentist or pediatrician may have more ideas for you.
Additionally, if your child is reluctant to brush, don’t necessarily force them. Physical force or coercion may make your child even more reluctant. Instead, try to model positive brushing habits, consider brushing together, make brushing their teeth into a game, offer rewards, or try other tactics.
Find the Right Pediatric Dentist
The pediatric dentist you select for your children is their main guide to children’s dental health. To ensure your child has the best experiences possible, choose your pediatric dentist carefully. Look for a professional who specializes in pediatric dentistry, they have the training and experience you need to protect your child’s mouth. Also, find a dentist who is committed to creating a calming, anxiety-free environment for children.
Now that you’ve read this guide to children’s dental health, it’s time to go a step further on your journey and make your child a dental appointment. To set up an appointment in an anxiety-free environment that kids and parents love, contact us at FUNtastic Dental.