Baby teeth first erupt through the gums around 6 months of age; they serve as a placeholder for teeth until a child’s permanent teeth are ready to come in. Caring for baby teeth is important because it allows children to develop a healthy dental care routine in preparation for their permanent teeth. Teaching your children good dental habits early on in life will allow them to maintain healthy teeth for years to come. Here are some things you can do to start encouraging positive dental habits:
Start Dental Care Early
A few days after your child is born, you can begin cleaning their mouth by wiping the gums with a clean, moist washcloth or gauze pad. You should start helping them brush their teeth twice a day as soon as they come in, only using a rice-grain size amount of fluoride toothpaste.
Visit the Dentist
It’s important that you start bringing your child to our office for regular dental exams no later than their first birthday. Between the age of 6 months and 1 year, your child is likely to have their first few teeth. When you bring them to our office, we can examine their mouth for any signs of future decay or dental issues. We also offer preventative dental care such as professional cleanings and fluoride treatments.
Continuing Dental Care
As they become older, begin helping your child brush their teeth twice a day using a child-size toothbrush and only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Continue this process until you feel comfortable that they can brush on their own. Once your child has teeth that are touching, you can help them start flossing daily. Continuously bring them to our office every six months, so we can continue monitoring their oral health and provide preventative care services to reduce their risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
Following these methods for your child’s dental health will allow them to enjoy healthy, happy teeth as they become older!