National Children’s Dental Health Month is held each February to raise awareness about the importance of oral health for kids. Many people assume that baby teeth don’t matter as much as adult teeth, however, they are just as important. Baby teeth help children to chew, speak, give the face its shape, and hold space for adult teeth. You should start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears. Brushing should occur at least twice daily with a soft bristled toothbrush. Children under 6 yrs still need a parent to help with brushing. For children 6 yrs and older, make sure that your child is not “rushing the brushing.” In addition, start using dental floss as soon as your child has two teeth that touch.
Tips for Building Strong Teeth:
- Your child should start seeing a dental professional at age 1.
- Do not let an infant fall asleep with a bottle that contains milk, formula, or fruit juice.
- Do not put a child’s pacifier in your mouth before giving it to a child. Decay-causing bacteria in your mouth can be passed to babies.
- Try to get your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday to lower the risk of tooth decay.
- Serve your child healthy foods/snacks. (Ex: Strawberries, Apples, and Carrots are natural tooth-whiteners)
- If your child eats sweets, save them for mealtime when the mouth makes more saliva to help rinse out food particles.
- Childproof your home. Many dental problems result from injuries related to playing in close proximity to furniture at home.
- Prevent cavities by application of fluoride and dental sealants by a dentist.
Tips for your Child’s Dental Visit:
- Consider making a morning appointment when children tend to be rested.
- Children can pick up on your emotions, so emphasize the positive.
- Never use a dental visit as a punishment.
- Talk with your child about the visit.
- Leave the rest to our office! We will make it an enjoyable visit for your child.
During your child’s dental visit you can expect us to:
- Inspect for oral injuries, cavities or other problems
- Let you know if your child is at risk of developing tooth decay
- Clean your child’s teeth and provide tips
- Discuss teething and thumbsucking
- Discuss any needed treatment plan and schedule the next check-up