Many parents ask when is the best time for their child to begin seeing a dentist. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children see a dentist as soon as they turn one or when the first tooth erupts.
Your child’s dental journey starts as soon as their teeth come in. Learn the proper ways to help your kids build a habit out of good oral hygiene and keep healthy teeth and gums as they grow old.
Oral hygiene tips for infants and toddlers
Teaching kids how to brush and be consistent about it is a challenge for most parents. Though it takes some storytelling and reward systems to trick your kids into brushing, it will be worth all the effort when they grow up. The natural teeth of your kids will stay healthy until their teenage years, and they will less likely experience the perils of having a dental condition.
Here are some dental care tips to help parents like you to protect your child’s teeth:
- When your baby’s first teeth come in, wipe them off with a soft washcloth.
- Never leave a bottle in a baby’s crib or nurse a child throughout the night, as this may lead to early cavities in the first teeth. Prolonged exposure of your child’s teeth to milk or juice supplies sugars to the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
- We recommend getting your children soft-bristled toothbrushes at 12 to 15 months old. It is also the perfect developing age when you can let them begin brushing their teeth on their own by mimicking you or their older siblings.
- Use a dab of fluoride toothpaste for your baby to minimize their chances of swallowing the toothpaste. For kids three years old and up, you can allow them to get as much as a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
- Start flossing your child’s teeth when two of their teeth have erupted to clean the sides of the teeth and prevent decay.
- At around 24 months, you may start to teach your kids to spit toothpaste without water. At this age, swishing the toothpaste with water can make your child more prone to swallowing the toothpaste.
- Refrain from giving your kids too much fruit juice as it is sugary and acidic. Instead, opt for pureed whole fruits and vegetables, which contain more nutrients than their juice forms.
What happens during your first dental visit?
Many dentists do a lap visit for the first few appointments of babies and toddlers. During a lap visit, the parent will let the one or two-year-old patient sit on their lap to help them feel comfortable in the dental practice. The most comfortable position for the child is when the parent is in knee-to-knee with the dentist.
Through this approach, the dentist can encourage the child to open his/her mouth. In some cases, the dentist allows the child to look at the dental instruments to prevent them from getting scared of the tools used in their mouth.
Let Soft Touch Dental help you take care of your child’s teeth
Your child’s oral hygiene will determine their oral health in the years to come. Let our dental team be your partner in teaching your kids healthy oral care habits. Soft Touch Dental provides comprehensive dental services in Florissant, MO.