Idealistically, good oral health and hygiene habits should be introduced into a child’s life in the earliest stages. Parents are always concerned about which oral health habits they should teach their children first. They worry about cavities, yet are unaware of how to keep them at bay.
Read the article to find out about some oral health tips and guidelines for a child’s oral health.
Table of Contents
When to Start Brushing?
As your child is born, they have their first set of 20 primary teeth, fully developed inside the jaw. So, it is ideal to start caring for the child’s oral health even before the first teeth appear. Here’s what you need to do:
- Damp a washcloth with warm water and wipe their gums, softly. This keeps any harmful bacteria away.
- As your child’s first teeth appear, use fluoride toothpaste along with an infant’s toothbrush. Make sure that the bristles of the brush are soft. Moreover, use toothpaste of the size of rice grain. It is important to use minimal amounts of toothpaste so that the kids don’t swallow it.
- Flossing can begin when two of your kid’s teeth touch.
- By the age of 2, teach your child to spit toothpaste. Make sure they spit first and gargle with water later. If you make them have water first, they might swallow.
- By the age of three, you can increase the side of the toothpaste to a pea-size.
- Kids under the age of 8 should be supervised while brushing their teeth so that they do not swallow the toothpaste.
Things You Should Know About Baby Teeth
Baby teeth can get decayed. This usually occurs when children are given a bottle for long periods or before going to bed. Sugar from milk, formula, or juices can sit on the child’s teeth and can eat away the protective layer of the teeth, i.e the enamel.
- This leads to problems known as the baby bottle tooth decay or bottle mouth. These problems cause tooth discoloration, pocketed teeth, and pits. After which severe cavities are born, which could also lead to a dentist pulling out the teeth.
To prevent this from happening, you should move to a sippy cup or straw bottle by 6 months of age. So that they wouldn’t spend too much time with the bottle in their mouth. By the age of 1, they should be able to hold and drink from a cup, with some assistance.
When to Start Seeing the Dentist?
The American Academy Of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that kids should see at least once, by their first birthday. A dentist is supposed to explain the right flossing and brushing methods to you. He would also do an in-depth check-up to see how the kid’s oral health is doing.
- The benefits of early visits is that dentists can find a problem in the child’s oral health, if any, and treat or prevent it earlier on in life so that they do not cause problems in the future.
A child at risk of cavities would be treated accordingly. The dentist may apply topical fluoride to harden the tooth enamel. This helps prevent any cavities that might occur later.
If you want your child to have healthy oral health in the future, and a bright shining smile, it is ideal that you start caring today. Routine checkups, every 3 months to once a year are ideal. Encourage flossing and brushing. Let them have sugary foods in moderate quantities only and you are good to begin with.
Icon Dental Clinic in Seattle, WA has the best children’s dentist available to fix those smiles!