The importance of brushing our teeth, visiting the dentist regularly, flossing, and beyond have all been drilled into our heads, but do you know how to best care for your child’s teeth? In this article, we’ll discuss important aspects of children’s teeth care.
Many people don’t realize that a child should see a dentist by his/her first birthday or within six months of the eruption of the first tooth. These early visits can help prevent childhood cavities and help establish good habits.
Even before your child has his/her first tooth, gums need to be taken care of by running a damp washcloth over them to remove bacteria. Once teeth have broken through, they should be brushed twice every day with a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste on an infant’s toothbrush. When their teeth begin to touch, flossing should also become part of the routine.
As children grow, they should be taught to spit while brushing, still only use a small amount of toothpaste, and use age/size appropriate brushes.
While the short-term benefits of seeing a dentist, brushing, and flossing are all important for your child, so is the creation of good habits. As your child grows up following an established routine, long-term habits that will serve them well in the future are being created.
Bottles and Sippy Cups
Both bottles and sippy cups are mainstays for many young children, but they can pose risks to their teeth. Much of this has to do with either putting the child to bed with a bottle or letting them drink from a bottle or sippy cup all day. Many drinks contain sugar, and when children are allowed to sip on them for a period of time and not brush or rinse, the bacteria in their mouths can be fed by the sugar in the drinks, leading to tooth decay.
From lollipops to children’s medications, sugar is everywhere. Just like drinking for bottles and sippy cups, consuming sugar and having it stay on teeth leads to tooth decay and eventually cavities. Make sure to monitor your child’s sugar consumption and brush their teeth accordingly.
If you have any questions about how to care for your child’s teeth, talk to your dentist at Winning Smiles, and make sure to read all about out Terrific Toddler Program!