4 Healthy Tips from Our Pediatric Dentistry Office
Parents often visit our pediatric dentistry office wishing to learn more about oral health and what steps they need to take to keep their children healthy starting at an early age. There is a lot of confusion when it comes to younger children's teeth in particular.
It is common for us to hear from parents that they are not sure when to start brushing teeth, take their child to the dentist or use something like fluoride. To make it easier, here are several suggested and recommended steps that parents should take to keep their children's teeth and good health.
#1. Brush teeth as soon they are erupt
There is no need to wait for children to have all of their teeth to start brushing them. To the contrary, in our pediatric dentistry office, we recommend that parents begin brushing teeth as soon as the first one erupts through the gums. It does not have to descend fully to begin brushing.
At this early stage, it is easiest to buy a rubber brush that fits over a parent's finger. This allows for greater control when a child is young and since it is entirely rubber there is no risk of irritation.
#2. Use the correct toothpaste
Infant toothpaste is clearly marked and can be purchased at any drugstore. It is the most gentle and appropriate for very young children. Once a child has reached the toddler years they should be capable of spitting out the toothpaste instead of swallowing it. At that time, we recommend using a children's toothpaste that contains fluoride.
There are multiple flavors and brands to choose from, so allow the child to make their selection. As long as it contains fluoride, it will most likely do a good job of keeping teeth clean and strong.
#3. Stop drinking anything other than water after brushing teeth at night
It is important that even babies stop taking bottles or sippy cups of juice to bed. Once children brush for the night, the child should not drink anything other than water. Otherwise, the sugar will remain on their teeth and can increase the risk of developing tooth decay.
#4. Visit the dentist early and often
Once a child has several teeth, they can visit our pediatric dentistry office. Generally, children do not come in until they are toddlers. However, we are happy to see patients earlier and answer any questions the parents may have. This is important for ensuring that the child has the best opportunity to remain in good oral health, rather than running the risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. Children can visit our office twice a year to have their teeth cleaned and fluoride should be applied at least annually for the best possible results.
Call with questions
We invite any parents with questions about their child's oral health to call our pediatric dentistry office. We can provide parents with information and resources. The best thing to do is to schedule an appointment and bring the child in. We can conduct an examination, clean their teeth and answer questions at that time. Working with parents, we can help children to remain in good oral health. Call today to schedule an appointment for your child.