Are you a first-time parent concerned about dental care for your baby or young child? If so, then join the club!
Fortunately, things are not as difficult as they may seem to you right now. If you follow some simple guidelines, you can rest assured that things should go well. Just remember that all mouths are different, so you should always speak with a pediatric dentist about the unique needs of your child.
4 Ways To Take Care Of Your Child’s Teeth
- Use Fluoride Toothpaste
You may have been taught that children younger than two should not use fluoride toothpaste. It was long thought that fluoride could be too abrasive for developing teeth. Though it is true that children can develop dental fluorosis, which is streaking of the teeth from too much fluoride, this is something you can prevent by using only a small dot-sized amount of toothpaste.Fluoride is essential to starting your child off with healthy, strong teeth and gums. Using fluoride toothpaste is doubly important if you live in an area without treated water or if your household drinks bottled water on a regular basis. Now, you may have also heard that babies can be harmed by swallowing toothpaste. However, since you will be using a small amount, this should not be a problem.
- Use Correct Brushing Techniques
How you brush their teeth is important. Be sure to be gentle. Do not make the mistake of rubbing the gums too hard. Young mouths are very sensitive. The brush should be as soft as possible, preferably one made just for babies. Otherwise, you can just wipe the teeth clean with a wash cloth, lightly dampened.
- Floss Regularly
Once your child has matured, and has a complete set of teeth, you will want to teach them how to floss. In fact, it is important for you to insist on them using floss each night and, when possible, after each meal. Doing so gets them in the habit of flossing everyday. A regular regime of flossing, brushing and using mouthwash can leave your child with strong white teeth. Some kids may seriously dislike dental floss. In these cases, it might be wise to invest in a water device to flush out the mouth.
- Visit the Dentist
Experts recommend visiting the dentist every six months. Regular checkups and cleanings are a proactive, preventive means of protecting teeth. Waiting until something goes wrong can be a serious mistake. By the time a bad cavity has developed, your child may need to have the tooth removed or go through a root canal. Help them beat tooth decay and other oral problems to the punch by going to your pediatric dentist routinely.
In Bellingham, WA, you can always consult with Dr. David Kavanagh at Bellingham Smiles about the best ways to protect young teeth!