Children’s dental health is very important because it creates a foundation for good dental habits. Poor dental habits can lead to decay in primary teeth and, if not corrected, can also cause decay in permanent teeth.
Children should begin their dental program at our office between the ages of 2-3 years old, when all of their primary teeth are present. However, an at home dental routine should start before your child’s first tooth starts to come in. You can clean your baby’s gums with a warm cloth. Once their teeth start to erupt, brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a soft children’s tooth brush and no tooth paste.
After the age of two you can begin to use a SMALL amount (the size of a grain of rice) of fluoridated tooth paste on the tooth brush. Be sure to supervise your child’s brushing until you are comfortable with them doing it themselves and they are able to spit out any leftover tooth paste. Once they have all of their primary teeth you can also start flossing them daily if the teeth are touching, preferably in the evening before brushing.
It is often a good idea to start by bringing your child with you for one or two of your dental hygiene appointments prior to their first visit. This will familiarize your child with our staff and make them more comfortable in our office. Keeping dental appointments short and easy will make their first dental visit a positive experience. Children are much often more relaxed about seeing the dentist than their parents. Try not to project any anxiety or fears you may have on to your children. Just relax and be honest; tell them they are going to see the dentist and that at their first appointment, we will count and clean their teeth. If you wait until your child is in pain, their first appointment will be less pleasant and an unhappy start to their dental program.
If parents have dental concerns before their child is 2-3 they should be seen by a children’s specialist, a pediatric dentist, for a consultation as they are better suited to treat younger children.
Get your kids’ dental health on the right track from the start. Call our Marda Loop office or request an appointment online today!