Proper dental care should always start at a young age. From the infant years, a child’s mouth should be taken care of. Even before a child’s teeth develop, it is critical to keep gum gums healthy and as bacteria-free as possible. As children get older, cavities can form and cannot be seen by the naked eye.
Caring for Your Child’s Teeth
As a parent, you should regularly wipe your child’s gums with a damp washcloth after drinking any liquid other than water. This helps to wash away a sticky substance lingering on the gums known as plaque that develop from bacteria.
Once a child’s first teeth grow in at the age of 6 months, don’t allow them to go to sleep while drinking milk or juice. Drinking the latter for long periods of time can contribute to cavities and bottle tooth. With the latter condition, the teeth become black due to the sugar content found in many beverages we feed our children.
The Importance of Pediatric Dentistry
Early dental care helps reduce the number of oral problems that might surface in the near future.
With visits to the dentists from a young age, your child can become more comfortable having their teeth checked regularly.
Schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist before your child’s first birthday. Early on, a dentist can detect any signs of early oral problems. With the range of technology dentists have today, your child’s dentist can refer you to specialists regarding jaw or bite problems if applicable. The earlier these issues are found, the better off your child will be.
A pediatric dentist in Honolulu can also help your child understand the importance of early oral care by teaching them the proper way to brush, so they can use the same technique when brushing at home. After all, taking care of their dental hygiene at home is just as important.
Teaching Your Child to Brush Their Own Teeth
At the age of 2, your child should be able to brush their teeth using a smear of toothpaste on a soft-bristled brush. However, they will still require reminders and assistance with the process.
During this stage, help your toddler brush their teeth by having your hand over theirs, so they can have the idea of how the brush should move. Make sure they spit out the excess toothpaste and don’t swallow. Advise them to gargle with enough water after spitting.
Use a fluoride toothpaste with 1000ppm to 1500ppm. Ask your dentist about the amount of fluoride the toothpaste should contain. By using fluoride toothpaste, you are helping the tooth enamel harden, which helps to ward off oral conditions like cavities. However, overusing fluoride toothpaste can cause tooth discoloration, so be sure to use an adequate amount while brushing your child’s teeth.
As your child grows older, continue to supervise your child while they brush their teeth on their own. Make sure to emphasize to them that brushing in all angles is critical, even behind the teeth and on the tongue.
However, don’t make brushing time boring; bring in some fun by using an egg timer to time their brushing! Teaching your kids that brushing is not a chore can help a lot in making sure they take care of their teeth well into adulthood.