Many parents believe that the best time to establish good dental hygiene habits is right when their child’s first tooth appears. But, that’s not exactly true.
The best time to start taking care of your child’s teeth is the exact moment that your child is born. Even without teeth, bacteria can and will build up in your baby’s gums. To prevent this from happening, you can wipe your baby’s gums with a soft damp cloth after every feeding or meal.
Now, once your child’s teeth do start to appear, start brushing their teeth twice a day. It’s recommended to use a soft children’s toothbrush and non-fluoride toothpaste the size of a small grain of rice.
During the preschool-age, you can start using fluoride toothpaste. You may also want to increase the amount of toothpaste, preferably to that of the size of a pea. The reason being is that young children have a tendency to swallow the toothpaste, instead of spitting it out. Swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste can leave permanent stains on the teeth, which is something that you don’t want to happen.
Cavities in Children
Cavities are the resulting holes formed by the acid from the bacteria or germs in your mouth when they’ve consumed too much sugar from your food. It’s also very common in children, but you can keep cavities from happening in your child’s teeth if you establish good oral care early on.
It is worth taking note however, that some children may be more at risk for cavities compared to others because of certain risk factors, such as:
- Regular consumption of sugary foods and beverages, such as raisins, candies, fruit juices, punch, sodas, cookies, sweetened drinks and so on.
- Being born with low birth weight or born early.
- Ongoing treatment or administration of any special health care needs.
- Brown areas and white spots on the teeth.
- Infrequent trips to the dentist.
To stop cavities, establishing good oral care is a must, but it applies to everyone in the family. There are cases where other family members can pass on cavity-causing bacteria to both children and babies, so every family member has to make an effort to take care of their teeth properly.
It is recommended for adults to brush their teeth three times a day and for children, twice. Flossing should also be done once a day to remove all the food particles and bacteria stuck in between the teeth and along the gum lines.
Taking Your Child to the Dentist
Most dental practitioners agree that parents should take their children in for an appointment as soon as their first tooth pops out, or no longer than the child’s first birthday.
Doing this as early as possible makes it easier for the dentist to look for any early signs and symptoms of problems with the child’s teeth. More importantly, starting early makes it easier for your child’s dentist to teach you important information about your child’s diet, the use of the right bottles, tooth brushing and the use of fluoride.
More importantly however, visiting the dentist at a young age makes it easier for your child to be comfortable with the dentist and less likely to be afraid of such appointments. It also helps establish the good habit of going to the dentist regularly.
Make an appointment today for yourself and your child at Creative Dimensions in Dentistry by calling 510-895-1776. Visit the website at www.cddentists.com.
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