The most important part about keeping kids’ teeth healthy for life is simple: good oral care from day one. That means good brushing habits, good flossing habits, and good eating habits. But just knowing that teeth need to be brushed, flossed, and taken care of isn’t always enough to avoid costly fixes like crowns, dental bridges, and dental implants further down the road.
There’s a whole lot more to good, healthy teeth than just brushing and flossing. So of course, for any parent there are often a lot of questions on the road from visits to the tooth fairy to a mouth full of adult teeth. Fortunately, our team of dentists in Orange County have all the answers for the many questions parents have about teeth of every shape and size.
When should a baby see the dentist?
It’s recommended that your baby sees the dentist by the time they’re one year old or about 6 months after their first tooth has broken through the surface and inspired plenty of cheek pinches and photographs.
How important are baby teeth?
Your child’s primary teeth (otherwise known as their “baby” teeth) are incredibly important for good reason. Of course, it goes without saying that baby teeth help your child eat. They also help with speech formation. And on top of all this: they provide very important guidance for your future adult teeth to follow when it’s their time to shine
How should I brush my baby’s teeth?
Brushing a baby’s teeth isn’t too different from brushing your own. Usually, you can find toothbrushes designed specifically for babies – but any soft, small headed toothbrush will work. Before your child has their teeth, a warm washcloth on the gums is perfect.
When should you start using toothpaste? (and how much should you be using?)
Before the teeth actually break through the surface of the gums, a warm cloth and water are more than enough to keep your baby’s gums clean and healthy. After you start seeing teeth, it’s time to start using fluoridated toothpaste, twice daily, gently brushed on using a soft toothbrush. All you need is a tiny smear of toothpaste. How much is that? Consider this: a child under the age of 6 or 7 should only be using about a pea sized amount of toothpaste. A “smear” is even smaller. Remember: your child doesn’t know how to brush effectively. You need to show them! Be sure to coach your child to spit the toothpaste out after you’ve finished. This is where brushing with your child becomes especially important.
Have more questions about your family’s oral hygiene? Who better to ask than a family dentist? Our family dental practice in Orange County has seen tiny smiles turn into healthy, happy adult smiles. If you have questions about doing the same for your family – we’re here to help.