Just because baby teeth eventually fall out, doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about your child’s dental care until later. Sadly, by six years of age, more than half of all children already have decay in their teeth.
Your child’s oral health depends on their first teeth being healthy. That allows their adult teeth to form properly and emerge healthy. Cavities in baby teeth are not only painful for your child, but also damaging to their ongoing oral health. This is why your child’s dental care regime needs to start early.
Caring for baby teeth
Your child’s oral healthcare should start as soon as their first tooth appears. While that’s too young for brushing, baby’s teeth should be carefully wiped with a clean, soft cloth after feeding. This helps to get rid of the sugar from milk or baby foods, so dental problems or gum infections don’t occur.
Once your child is two you can start brushing their teeth with a toddler-sized toothbrush and a pea-sized blob of toothpaste. Do this after breakfast and after dinner, and use a special song to time the brushing which should take two minutes. Then floss gently around your child’s teeth. Your DB Dental practitioner will be able to advise on the right type of toothbrush and toothpaste for your child.
When should my child see a dentist?
Your baby should have their first dental checkup around their first birthday. It’s a special milestone, and your DB Dental dentist will be able to check that their mouth and baby teeth are healthy. Of course if you have any earlier concerns about your baby’s teeth, always contact your dentist.
Regular checkups should start by your child’s second birthday and they should see the dentist every six months after that. Your dentist will also want to know if your child uses a dummy, or sucks on fingers or thumbs. Sippy cups can also cause dental issues because they can affect the development of the palate through repeated sucking. It’s best if your child can transition from a bottle to a normal plastic cup or glass around their first birthday.
Keeping up good dental habits
Children should be able to clean their teeth properly by around seven years of age, but it may take them until ten years old to competently floss their own teeth. By training them early in cleaning and flossing their teeth, you’re building lifelong good habits.
Regular dental checks should be a natural part of their routine, but if you have any concerns about their mouth or teeth in between, contact your dentist straight away. Things like bleeding from the gums, swollen red gums, pus, loose teeth and persistent bad breath need checking out before they get worse.
Good oral health is an important part of your child’s overall health. You can book an appointment with your DB Dental practitioner online now.