The Do’s and Don’ts of Caring for Your Child’s Smile
Caring for your child’s smile is a big responsibility. Your child’s teeth and gums will require specific care at various stages of their growth. Here are some general rules to follow to ensure you stay on track with your child’s oral health:
DO take baby teeth seriously. Just because baby teeth eventually fall out doesn’t mean you can neglect them. In fact, baby teeth are just as permanent teeth. They are not only placeholders to facilitate the proper eruption of adult teeth, but they can also harbor disease and infection that could threaten your child’s overall health if not properly care for.
DON’T wait until your baby has teeth to start practicing oral hygiene. Even if your child has a toothless grin, you’ll still need to gently wipe their gums after meals to reduce bacteria build-up.
DON’T use more toothpaste than is needed. From the time the first tooth emerges until you child is about 2 years old, only a rice-sized amount of toothpaste is necessary. Children 3 to 6 years old should use a pea-sized amount.
DO set a good example. Children are motivated by the behavior of their parents. So make sure you are practicing strong oral hygiene habits yourself, which should include brushing for two minutes, twice a day as well as flossing on a daily basis.
DO consider sealants. Sealants are an excellent way to protect teeth that are vulnerable to decay. This quick procedure involves placing a clear “sealcoating” material on the chewing surfaces of your child’s back molars.
DON’T let your child brush or floss independently too soon. Brushing and flossing require a certain level of dexterity and coordination to be done well. Therefore, keep doing the job for your child until you are confident they can do it correctly. As a general rule, children shouldn’t brush or floss alone until they can tie their own shoe, or around the age of 6.
DO schedule your child’s first dental visit early. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry say that the first dental visit should occur within six months after the baby’s first tooth appears, but no later than the child’s first birthday.
https://www.gilreathdental.com/dentistry/pediatric/When it comes to caring your child’s smile, Gilreath Dental Associates welcomes the opportunity to help you. While we offer a full menu of pediatric dental services, we never overlook the importance of providing caring and personalized care to our young patients. If you have questions about how to keep your child’s smile healthy and bright, please do not hesitate to ask.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates