The health and well-being of your child are a top priority. An important part of keeping your child healthy is helping them to develop good oral care habits. Starting early helps your child to carry their dental care habits into adulthood.
Children with good oral hygiene habits typically suffer fewer oral health issues during their lifetime. They have greater self-confidence and tend to perform better in the classroom. A part of helping your child to develop good oral care habits is with professional care.
At Fern Creek Dentistry, we can provide your child with the professional dental care they need to maintain a lifetime of good oral health.
When Should I Start an Oral Hygiene Routine with My Child?
It is never too early to start an oral hygiene routine with your child. It is recommended to start as early as possible, even before the eruption of the first baby tooth. You can use a damp washcloth to gently clean and massage the gums. This will help to remove any bacteria as well as any sugars left over from formula or breast milk.
The first tooth typically erupts around the age of 6 months. Some babies get their first tooth earlier, and some may not get theirs until after their first birthday. When the first tooth comes in, it is time to switch to a small, soft-bristled toothbrush.
Gently clean the tooth with a small smear of toothpaste approximately the size of a grain of rice. This amount of toothpaste should be used up until the age of 3. As your child grows, you can let them start to brush their teeth with you finishing the job by getting all of the areas they missed.
At What Age Should My Child Have Their First Dental Appointment?
Ideally, your child should have their first dental visit before their first birthday. They should also have dental visits every six months, just like you. These early visits are crucial for helping your child to get accustomed to dental visits. They also allow us to detect the presence of early issues, including bottle decay and issues that may develop as a result of oral habits such as thumb sucking or pacifier use.
How a Dentist Helps Your Child Maintain a Healthy Mouth
There are many ways we can help your child maintain a healthy mouth. We can provide your child with preventative care with cleanings and dental exams.
These routine visits allow us to help your child prevent serious issues such as cavities. We can provide restorative care if a cavity develops or your child suffers issues such as dental trauma or a tooth infection. We can also help to assess the potential for orthodontic issues and provide your child with the care they need to ensure optimal oral development.
How Can I Help My Child at Home?
We can also help you and your child develop a good oral care routine at home. You should be helping your child to brush their teeth twice a day. Flossing once a day should begin once the baby teeth begin to come together and touch one another.
Your child will continue to need your help brushing up until around the age of 5 or 6. At this age, they can begin brushing on their own, but they should still be monitored. If your child is averse to brushing, you can help to make the process more fun by reading books, playing music, or even brushing alongside them.
If you have any questions or concerns about the oral health of your child, do not hesitate to call Fern Creek Dentistry at (704) 380-9555 today.