It is never too early to start with a good dental hygiene. In fact, experts agree that good dental hygiene habits should start as your child’s first tooth appears. Simply wiping your baby’s gums with a rubber thimble or a soft damp cloth after feedings greatly helps prevent bacteria build-up in the mouth.
When the whole set of teeth appears, you may then use a soft toothbrush to clean your baby’s teeth with twice a day.
Come pre-school age, children always eat cookies, candies, and all kinds of sugary food and sweet liquid. This is why it is crucial to monitor their oral hygiene as well as their in-take of these types of teeth-weakening foods.
This is especially true when your child was born prematurely, had low birth weight, has special health care needs, has brown areas or white spots on teeth, and does not like going to the dentist often, all of which puts him or her at a greater risk of developing cavities.
It is also at this age that you should start using fluoride toothpaste. A pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste is just enough to clean your child’s teeth and since young kids tend to swallow more toothpaste than they spit out, covering the whole brush with toothpaste is not such a good idea, especially since ingesting too much fluoride can cause permanent stains to develop on their teeth.
Why is fluoride so important?
Fluoride is a key ingredient in most toothpastes, as it helps strengthen teeth by hardening its enamel coating. Fluoride tablets are often prescribed to children to help then have better dental health.
However, taking oral fluoride excessively can cause teeth staining, which is why it is important to follow dosage and directions when using fluoride tablets.
When do I start taking my kid to the Dentist?
According to the American Dental Association, parents should take their child on their first dental visit around his or her first birthday. This way, the dentist has the opportunity to check for signs of early problems with your baby’s teeth.
Pediatric dentists are highly specialized in treating dental problems in children, and it is important to discuss with them all the aspects of your child’s oral health and hygiene, starting from his or her diet, tooth brushing, bottle, and fluoride use.
Making dentist visits a habit will help your child become more comfortable around dental offices and get acquainted with proper dental care. Contact your Pediatric Dentist Today!