It is never too early to start caring for your child’s teeth. Giving your child a healthy smile from the start will benefit them for the rest of their life.
It is important that you clean your baby’s gums after every feeding, even before teeth have come in. Using a clean, damp washcloth to wipe the gums is best. Once your baby’s first tooth erupts (usually around 6 to 10 months) begin brushing the teeth and gums with a soft bristle child’s toothbrush and a small smear of fluoridated toothpaste twice daily. Your child should have their first dental appointment by the time he or she is 1 year old. This allows the dentist to evaluate your child’s oral health, potential risk factors, and helps establish a relationship between the dentist and your child.
By age 3 most of your child’s primary teeth have erupted. Baby teeth are not only important for helping children chew their food, but they also make space for adult teeth and are an important part of the growth and development of your child’s jaws and face. In addition to aiding in normal facial growth and development , studies have shown that children with good oral health and no tooth pain do better in school. Because of their importance, it is critical that primary teeth are taken care of through daily oral care as well as through regular visits to the dental office. Young children often want to brush their teeth by themselves, but until your child is about 6 years old you should be helping.
There are a few important things that parents can do to ensure their child’s teeth are healthy. First, make sure they eat a healthy, well balanced diet with few sweets and candies. Juices and sugary drinks should be limited and should never be given in a bottle at night. Additionally, fluoride is a safe, inexpensive, and very effective way to help prevent cavities in your child. In Grand County, few children have fluoride in their drinking water so it is important to use fluoridated toothpaste. Your dentist might recommend additional sources of fluoride. Finally, regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits are critical to your child’s oral health. Please call us at Winter Park Dental, (970) 726-5556.