Taking care of a child’s teeth should begin well before their first tooth even arrives, according to San Antonio dentists. Beginning early with good mouth care can help children grow up to appreciate the dentist, as well as take proper care of their teeth.
How to Form Good Tooth Care Habits in Children
Caring for your child’s teeth should begin as an infant. There are specially made toothbrushes for infants. These brushes are small and have very soft bristles. There are also some that are rubber and can be placed on your finger. Actual brushing should begin shortly after birth and be done nightly. In addition, a soft cloth with cool water can be used. The cleaning of the gums will help keep your child’s mouth clean and help to prevent early gum diseases. Once the first tooth appears, a children’s toothpaste should be used and brushing should be done twice daily. Other than brushing, allowing children juice or milk as they go to bed can cause tooth decay. If your child needs a bottle at bed, give them plain water to avoid the sugars staying on the teeth while they sleep. A healthy diet that is balanced and does not contain a lot of sugars and starches will also help protect a child’s teeth from decay. Contrary to popular belief, thumb sucking and pacifiers are not dangerous to a child’s teeth unless the habit is still present after three years old, or when they have a full set of teeth.
The First Dental Visit
In order for child to be most comfortable at the dentist, it is important to start visits early. Parents should avoid making any negative remarks regarding visiting the dentist. A child should see a dentist as soon as the first tooth appears, or prior to their first birthday. Choose either a pediatric dentist or family dentist. A family dentist will see and treat any age group, while pediatric dentists have spent additional time in school in order to specialize in children. Children should visit the dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup. In addition, if a child complains of a toothache, make an appointment with their dentist and use a warm salt water rinse and acetaminophen temporarily. Also, if a child loses a permanent tooth, find the tooth and attempt to re-insert it into the child’s mouth. If the tooth cannot be re-inserted, place it into a glass of milk and bring the tooth and child to see the dentist immediately.
Do Baby Teeth Matter?
Not only is the care of your children’s baby teeth important for forming good habits, but it also has other purposes. These primary teeth assist in allowing a child to speak properly and learn how to make the various sounds in language. They are also necessary for a child to chew their food, properly aiding in digestion. Another large purpose for these first teeth is to create a proper pathway for secondary teeth to grow and erupt once they’re ready. This helps to keep teeth straight and well aligned. Build a strong relationship with San Antonio dentists to help provide the best care for your child’s teeth!