For a number of years, parents have the complete responsibility of caring for all of the needs of their children. Until your child is old enough and responsible enough to care for his or her oral health, that responsibility rests solely on the parents. For many parents, they do not fully recognize that caring for their child’s teeth occurs as soon as that first baby tooth pops through the gums. Since this typically occurs around the age of just six-months old, parents rarely begin focusing on their child’s oral health. However, tooth decay can begin as soon as a tooth erupts inside the mouth and is often referred to as “Baby Bottle Tooth Decay.” Understanding the importance of caring for your child’s teeth from the very start will help to promote a healthy mouth for years to come.
Just as with permanent teeth, the baby teeth need to be well taken care of. All teeth, no matter how young or small they are, need to be brushed at least twice a day and flossed on a daily basis. Plaque buildup occurs from all types of sugars that enter the mouth. For babies, most of the sugars inside their mouths are from milk and/or formula, and these sugars will cling to the teeth and begin to cause cavities if they are not brushed, flossed, and rinsed away regularly. A pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste should be used to brushed a child’s teeth under adult supervision. Fun apps by Disney® and Nick Jr.® can be downloaded to your phone or tablet that easily incorporate interactive timers and characters into tooth-brushing.
It is also important for parents to take their child to the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. As for all dental patients, young and old, regular dental visits can catch concerns early and provide the appropriate intervention. Children who visit the dentist twice a year are more apt to maintain a healthy diet and have a healthier smile than those who do not.
At Group Health Dental, we want everyone to achieve the healthiest smile possible. Simple steps from the very start can promote a beautiful and complete smile that lasts for years to come. Thank you in advance for the opportunity to care for your smile!