Basic dental care for children is designed to teach kids how to brush and floss their teeth regularly. Your dentist will offer you regular check-ups to ensure your child’s oral health and development is on the right path. Cleanings are also common. The cleaner your child’s teeth are, the healthier they are. Starting young is always a good idea because it also helps to prepare and condition your children for routine visits. Your dentist will also go over a dietary chart. This will help explain how and why you need to maintain a healthy mouth with a diet that is tailored to your dental needs. Mouth-healthy diets consist of foods that are high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products. This basic care will help you prevent gum disease and bad breath, keep teeth whiter, improve oral health, and make it possible for your children’s teeth to last a lifetime.
When to Take Your Child to the Dentist
The answer to this question is simple. Your child should visit a dentist after his or her first tooth erupts. Whether they are six or twelve months old, the first time you see a tooth poking through the gums, a visit to the family dentist is recommended. A paediatric dentist has undergone four years of dental school with two additional years of supplemental training that is specifically for childhood dentistry. You will want your child to see a paediatric dentist to ensure your child is at ease during the appointment as they specialize in providing a relaxing experience.
What Toothbrush Is Best for Your Child’s Age
Until your child is one years old, you can brush his or her teeth with a wet washcloth or a soft infant toothbrush without any toothpaste applied. Once your child has reached 12 – 18 months of age, they should be comfortable with a soft baby toothbrush inside their mouths. Using your own daily routine in conjunction with your child’s makes the experience fun, as your little one will often enjoy the experience of copying their parent. By the time your child is 18 months you’ll only need to apply a small dab of fluoride-free toothpaste. Toothpaste that does not contain fluoride is imperative because it is safe for your infant to swallow. Using fluoride at this age is strongly discouraged until they are capable of understanding how to spit out the toothpaste.
Once your child has reached the age of two, you need to switch to a toothbrush head that is a slightly larger than the baby toothbrush. This should be easy to locate in any grocery store or pharmacy. In most cases, these toothbrushes will be adorned with age appropriate cartoon characters your child is interested in. Using a larger toothbrush will help reach the molars in the back of your toddler’s mouth. At this age, toothpaste containing fluoride is encouraged for maintaining the tooth enamel.
School Aged Children
Children ranging from 5 – 8 have adult teeth erupting, and he or she will have a better handle on spitting out toothpaste. You’ll need to find a toothbrush that is large enough for the adult teeth that are coming in, but not so large that you could use it yourself. Fluoridated toothpaste is welcomed at this age to promote healthy and strong teeth.
By the time your child is 9 – 10 years old, you can begin using adult toothbrushes. At this point, they should have all their adult teeth and have grown accustomed to using fluoridated toothpaste. If your child has braces, you’ll need to purchase a toothbrush that cleans more effectively than the average toothbrush.
Is It Advisable To Use An Electronic Toothbrush For Kids?
Yes. While traditional methods of brushing your child’s teeth work well, an electric toothbrush for kids generally performs a more thorough job. With a traditional toothbrush, your child can brush more teeth at one time in one swipe. This makes it easy for them to get the job done quickly, but not as effectively. Electronic toothbrushes, however, move in a circular motion, cleaning one tooth at a time in a more complete manner. Most dentists recommend using an electronic toothbrush on your children because of the fact they require less physical effort, therefore encouraging children to brush their teeth for a longer duration. Electronic Toothbrushes work better, make brushing more fun, and come in many different shapes and sizes. When purchasing an electronic toothbrush, be sure to choose a head that is small enough to fit in your child’s mouth easily without causing any strain.
Common Dental Issues in Children
Baby bottle tooth decay is one of the most frequent reoccurring dental issues in children around the globe. Baby bottle tooth decay, or early childhood caries, happens when an infant’s teeth are in contact with sugars frequently. Fruit juices, formula, sugar water, and any other sweet drink can ignite this issue. If it is left untreated, the child may have difficulty chewing and eating. Tooth decay in children can also make it difficult for adult teeth to come in properly because damaged baby teeth are no longer to help guide them into their designated space. Baby bottle tooth decay can cause incorrect bites, pain, or abscessed teeth.
Thumb Sucking and Tongue Thrusting
Thumb sucking is another common dental issue in infants and toddlers. Prolonged thumb sucking can cause your child to have a severe overbite. This happens by the thumb pushing the teeth outward to form the shape of their thumb. Tongue thrusting is another issue that occurs while your child is sleeping that can have the same effect. Both issues need to be addressed by your dentists to ensure your child’s bite is corrected when their adult teeth arrive.
Early Tooth Loss
It’s not uncommon for toddlers and school-age children to knock a tooth out by falling or playing sports. This is a common occurrence that can be avoided easily by investing in the proper mouth guards or safety features in your home. If your child is one of the 5 Million teeth knocked out every year, follow the American Association of Endodontists guide to successfully replanting.