As a parent, meeting all of your child’s needs is your first priority. It is important not to overlook the need to care for your child’s oral health. Some people may think that because baby teeth fall out, it is not as important to brush and care for them. This is simply not true. Any pediatric dentist will tell you that the best way to help make sure that your children have healthy teeth when they are young as well as when they are adults is to be proactive about their oral healthcare. Here are some tips to help you easily take care of your children’s teeth.
The First Teeth
It is exciting to finally see those first pearly whites breaking through, but teething babies can be quite cranky. You don’t need to worry if your baby seems fussy about teething, but you can try to relieve the pain by offering teething toys, cold rags, or cold pieces of carrot or apple (though be very careful about choking hazards). Once the first teeth come through, wipe them down at least twice a day with a soft rag. Do not use toothpaste at this point. It is also important that you visit a dentist six months after the first teeth emerge or by the time your child is a year old. Some babies do not have teeth by the time they turn 1. While not as common, there shouldn’t be any need to worry even up until 18 months.
Brushing and flossing your toddler’s teeth may seem like a daunting task at times, especially if your toddler does not enjoy the task. It is important to use a small toothbrush with soft bristles. Only use fluoridated toothpaste once your child is old enough to know how to spit it out. Make brushing teeth a routine part of the morning and evening. It is generally better to brush after breakfast instead of before. Make brushing more fun by singing silly songs or telling stories. Once this habit is established in a toddler, it will be easy to carry on in adolescence.
Take your child into the dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups. A pediatric dentist will be trained specifically to deal with children and can help you fix any problems that may arise as described on Optimisitc Mommy. It is important to fill cavities even in baby teeth. Untreated cavities can be painful and can lead to further tooth decay and even abscesses. These are certainly things you want to avoid. With daily care and regular dental cleanings, your children should have healthy teeth as they grow into adults.