When it comes to teeth – prevention is always the best cure. In fact, good oral health begins even before a baby’s first tooth. Which goes to show that the path to a “bright” dental future begins before a child can even see above the sink. Teeth, in the mouth of someone who cares just a little are fully capable of lasting a lifetime — but those habits start at a young age. For toddlers and beyond, it’s all about good habits.
Most childrens dentist point to a few simple steps to help ensure your child has a healthy, growing smile.
Some precautionary tips for baby teeth:
Care for Baby Teeth Before You can See Them!
Every baby is born with all of his or her teeth, you just can’t see them because they are completely hidden by the gums. After about 6 months the teeth begin to break through the gums — when a baby is teething — a time in which it is critical to start good oral care.
Avoid Bottle Tooth Decay
Bottle tooth decay occurs when babies drink formula, milk, or juice out of a bottle over an extended period of time. Symptoms include brown or block spots on the teeth, bleeding or swollen gums, and bad breath. A fever and irritability could be a sign of an infection.
How to avoid bottle tooth decay
- Do not put baby to sleep with a bottle
- Take the bottle away after your baby is done drinking
Dental Tips for Ages 0-2
- Schedule a baby’s first dental appointment to be sometime around his or her first birthday.
- Brush twice a day, with water and a soft toothbrush
- Use a moist cloth to gently brush the gums after feeding to help prevent plaque buildup, which can become tooth decay.
- Break the habit of thumb-sucking early by slowly breaking reliance on pacifier.
Dental Tips for Ages 3-5
- Kids around 3 should start using fluoride toothpaste
- Instruct kids to only use a small amount of tooth-paste, just the size of a pea. And always remember to spit out the toothpaste.
- Try to visit your dentist roughly twice a year.
Dental Tips for Ages 6-12
Children between 6 and 12 face an incredibly important period of growth where a number of changes are taking place in every child’s smile. In this time especially it is important to continue stressing good habits, such as:
- Flossing should begin when teeth are touching
- Baby teeth should be disposed of with as much (or little) fanfare as you like
- Pay close attention to “hard to reach” teeth
- Brush and floss, twice a day — it’s that easy
- Always remind children to habitually practice good oral health habits. Brush and floss with your child regularly, to instill good daily habits
- Wear a mouth guard when it comes to contact sports
Good Habits Start EARLY
Let’s face it, you don’t need a pediatrics dentist to tell you that building anything “to last” takes a strong foundation. With our teeth, that starts with the beginning.
Have questions? Contact us today. We’re happy to help.