It’s important to know how to care for your teeth no matter your age. In the case of children, the parents or caregivers are responsible for ensuring that their teeth are cared for properly. Dentistry for children requires active participation from the family to get the best results. Reflection Ridge Dental can provide you with the education and services needed to help keep your children’s mouth, teeth, and gums healthy.
Caring for Teeth from the Start
Getting a good start on your child’s dental hygiene is important to keep them healthy, but also to develop good habits they will carry into adulthood.
Newborn Gum Care
While newborns don’t have teeth, you can keep their mouths clean with a wet washcloth. Simply wipe the gums, no need to use toothpaste until they have teeth.
Starting at about six months babies will start teething and will get their first tooth. The first teeth to come in are the bottom front teeth, and then the top front teeth. You can use a tiny amount of toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) to brush the teeth. When you see two teeth touching, you should floss their teeth once a day.
When children reach the age of three, they can generally hold their own toothbrush and can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Your child’s toothbrush needs to have a small head, so it fits in their mouth easily. The type of toothbrush isn’t important, whether it’s electric or manual. But making the brushing experience fun is key. You can brush along to songs, use timers, or offer incentives for brushing like sticker charts.
Grade School Age and Older
Your children should be developing good dental hygiene and can now brush their own teeth and floss without supervision. You should still check in with them to make sure they are brushing properly—and for long enough—and flossing regularly. In addition, they will start to have regular teeth cleanings from the dentist.
Limit your child’s access to sugary drinks (including fruit juices), and sweets like cookies and candy. Sugar and acid will damage teeth enamel and can put your child at a higher risk for cavities.
When to See the Dentist
Dentistry for children starts before their first birthday. While not the same as your regular exams, your dentist can examine your child’s teeth for cavities and plaque and offer suggestions on oral care. Early exams also help the child establish a routine for visits that can reduce dental anxiety.
Talk to your dentist about sealants for your child’s teeth. Sealants put a special coating over teeth that fits into the grooves of your back teeth and protect against cavities. Fluoride treatments and regular use of fluoride toothpaste are also recommended for children as they grow.
Contact Reflection Ridge Dental
Your child’s oral health and baby teeth are important to their speech, ability to eat, and the development of their other teeth. Contact Reflection Ridge Dental to schedule your child’s appointment.