Children’s oral hygiene
A healthy mouth starts with good oral hygiene making it important for both children and adolescents to know how to take care of their teeth. You may not realize this, but you can actually begin to start brushing your child’s teeth within six months of them emerging. When they first pop up you can even use a wet washcloth to remove any bacteria that is present.
Pain during teething is normal, and you can expect your child to feel rather intense pain when this process occurs. Your children learn from you, so you need to set the example of good oral hygiene while they are still young.
What you can do
When selecting your child’s first toothbrush, make sure you get the right size of brush and that it has soft bristles so you do not harm their gums when brushing. You can even bring your child along to buy it so they get excited. When you begin to brush, use warm water to make the bristles even softer and brush twice a day for two minutes each time. You should continue to help your child brush his or her teeth until they are eight years old, ensuring they learn the right practices and understand the process.
When your child begins to brush on their own, make sure they use only a small amount of toothpaste, and brush the front and back of each tooth (and tongue!) at an angle. It is important that they also floss to get rid of any bacteria that a toothbrush cannot reach.
Infant oral health – The first visit
Just like adults, infants need regular dental care, and La Petite Dentistry welcomes you! You can bring your child in as early as six months old or when their first tooth begins to erupt. During your appointment, we will educate you on the growth and development of teeth, and share tips to prevent tooth decay while making note of any concerning issues that we may see. The goal of this appointment is to make you comfortable with La Petite Dentistry and our staff, making you feel right at home.
What you need to know
It is good to know a few things to help your child have the best oral hygiene as possible.
- One thing that many parents may not know is that bottle feeding may actually harm your child’s teeth due to the liquid adhering to their surface. To prevent this from happening, we advise that you do not give your child milk when they go to sleep at night.
- Pacifiers are okay for your children to keep until they are around four, but any longer and they may begin to affect the development of each individual tooth permanently. The same goes for thumb sucking.
To help prevent cavities, La Petite Dentistry provides fluoride applications to protect the enamel on your child’s teeth. Fluoride is critical for children between the ages of 18 months and 18 years. Although it is a naturally-occurring mineral found in water and food, young children need more than what their diets provide. When you visit La Petite Dentistry, we can help ensure that your child has the long-term oral health protection they need.
As a parent, you can help to protect your child’s teeth by doing more than just coming to the dentist. A well-balanced diet protects healthy gums, strong teeth, and a beautiful smile. Make sure your child eats lots of fruits and vegetables, grains, lean proteins and dairy while they are growing to ensure that their teeth have the nutrition they need.