The dental habits that children develop as young people will shape the course of their dental history into adulthood. Their dental needs begin before they even have visible teeth. Their needs include check-ups at the dentist, and lessons in personal dental hygiene.
When your child is just a baby, run a damp washcloth over his or her gums before the teeth begin to emerge. This will help remove sugars and bacteria from formula or breast milk, which can lead to infections in the gums. Once the baby’s teeth begin coming in, avoid putting the baby to sleep with a bottle – a practice that can cause milk or juice to collect around the teeth, eating at the enamel.
Children also need regular visits to the dentist, with the first visit occurring by the time the child turns 12 months old. The dentist will be able to detect any issues with the forming teeth, and will show you how to properly brush and floss the child’s teeth. A child’s baby teeth should all be in by the time he is 2 ½, at which point the dentist will possibly start fluoride treatments to harden the tooth enamel and prevent cavities.
You should begin flossing your child’s teeth as soon as they have two teeth that are touching. Brush the child’s teeth twice a day until they are old enough to hold the toothbrush themselves and brush effectively. You can begin using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste when the child is between 2 and 3 years old- just make sure they spit it out and don’t swallow it.
Along with brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist’s, children’s teeth also require certain dietary standards. Avoid giving children sticky sweets, soda, or other unhealthy, sugary snacks. These can lead to cavities. Continue taking the child to the dentist for routine cleanings and check-ups every 3 to 6 months. The dentist may also recommend a check-up at the orthodontist, to correct any issues with permanent teeth or jaw alignment.
To schedule your child’s first exam in Arlington, contact the office of Dr. Daniel C. Bush at 817-465-0355 today.