February marks National Children’s Dental Health Month. In honor of this, we would like to share some tips for caring for your child’s teeth.
- Before your child has teeth, make sure you are cleaning the gums with a wet cloth after each feeding.
- As soon as you spot the first tooth, you can begin brushing it!
- Around age 1 you should bring your child in for their first dental visit. These are usually “happy visits” and require no treatment. These visits help acclimate children to the dental office.
- Beware of what you are putting in your child’s bottle. Even milk contains sugar, and if your child is often drinking from their bottle they can be more prone to decay. Always avoid soda, and be careful with sugary juices.
- When your child’s first permanent teeth come in (around age 6) they will need sealants or preventive resins to protect the chewing surface from decay.
- If baby teeth have decay, they need to be treated. Often times we think that because these teeth will fall out on their own we can avoid things like fillings, but decay and trauma can affect the underlying permanent teeth.
- Children need help brushing their teeth even when they are old enough to do other activities independently. They lack the dexterity to properly brush their teeth until about age 8. You can ease children into brushing on their own at that age by letting them brush in the morning, and have an adult brush for them in the evening.
- It is completely normal for a permanent tooth to grow in behind a baby tooth that is still intact. This is known as “shark teeth” and often the teeth will shift into proper placement on their own over time. If you are concerned about out of place teeth, come see us for an evaluation and we may recommend orthodontics to straighten the smile.
- Fluoride is important for developing teeth. It’s important to make sure that your child is using a fluoridated toothpaste (once you are sure they will not swallow the paste), and that they are drinking fluoridated water. We will also apply a topical fluoride treatment at their dental visits.
- Children learn their oral health habits from the important adults in their life. Setting a positive example is key to laying a good foundation for their oral health.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s dental health please call us at 865-982-7602.