Your child’s first trip to the dentist
The most common chronic childhood disease is tooth decay. Fortunately, this is one disease that can be avoided. The main key to preventing any issues with your children’s teeth is implementing an oral hygiene routine that includes brushing their teeth at an early age. It is equally important to adopt a healthy diet, avoiding excess sugar and drinking lots of water. Taking your child to your family dentist is recommended when they are able to cooperate with the visit.
A baby’s teeth are their foundation for the permanent teeth to come, therefore, introducing excellent oral hygiene practices with your baby forms the basis for healthy permanent teeth which will take your children through their teen age years and well into their adult years, and hopefully for the rest of their lives! Once children grow teeth, they are susceptible to tooth decay and that can obviously lead to serious dental issues.
The initial cause of tooth decay is often caused by sugary liquids like milk, sweetened juice and formula. The best choices for your child are water and unsweetened juices. Children who take a bottle in their crib and toddlers who walk around with a drinking cup or a bottle are more likely to develop tooth decay than children who do not have these habits.
Many dentists’ recommend that your child’s first trip to the dentist is scheduled 6 months after their first tooth appears in order for dental staff to develop a relationship with the youngster. Also, this enables the dentist to teach parents how to properly care for their child’s teeth. The dental staff will make sure your child is comfortable in the dentist chair and then the dentist will conduct an exam to count the teeth and ensure that they are properly coming in. Any potential issues can be identified and a baseline is established for future visits.
It is important when using toothpaste while brushing your children’s teeth, that you only use a minimal amount on the brush. For kids under the age of 3 years old, it is best to only brush their teeth with just water and for children between the ages of 3 to 6 years old, using an amount the size of a green pea. Making brushing and flossing a fun part of the day and even doing it alongside of them will help set the stage for a future of great dental check-ups!