The basis of healthy permanent teeth in children and adolescents happen during the first years of their life. Teaching them proper dental hygiene early in life is a great assurance for the development of strong and healthy teeth later in their lives. Parents can start by setting an example and make their children understand the importance of proper oral care. Children learn more by imitating their parents and they do better through affection and praise for their efforts.Do you want to learn more? Visit Green Meadow Dental.
Neglecting the child’s oral care is a big mistake parents can make. Improper nutrition and teeth cleaning in the first 2 years of a child’s life has been linked to tooth decay in most children. Tooth decay is five times more prevalent than asthma in children. Developing caries in primary teeth also increases the risk of tooth decay in permanent teeth. It is therefore important for parents to start teaching their children proper dental hygiene at an early age to prevent dental problems as they grow older.
When is the right time to start proper oral care for children?
Proper oral care starts before any teeth appear. It is recommended that parents wipre the baby’s gums with water using a baby’s toothbrush (no toothpaste) or soft cloth after feeding. doing this will help clear away harmful bacteria. Refrain from putting the baby to sleep with a feeding bottle as this may also harm the baby’s gums and teeth because the sugars from milk or juice that stayed in the baby’s mouth for hours will eat away at the enamel of the tooth, forming what is called bottle mouth. Symptom of bottle mouth is discolored, pocked, or rough front teeth. Severe cases of bottle mouth can lead to tooth decay and the infected tooth has to be extracted before the permanent teeth grow in.
A good rule to follow is to start brushing regularly when the first teeth appear. Flossing can be done as soon as the child has grown teeth that are in contact with each other, usually around 2-3 years of age. However, ask your dentist’s advice first because not all children need to have to floss their teeth at this age. Dentists can also recommend non-fluoride toothpaste before a child reaches 2 years old. Give your child oral cleanings on a daily basis especially every after meals and make it a dental care habit.
The child’s first visit to the dentist
Pediatric dentist is a dentist that specializes in children’s dental health, and their main goal is prevention and maintenance. They are certified to take care of any dental issues a child might have and can refer you to other specialists, like an oral surgeon or an orthodontist, for any special procedures that need to be done. The right time to take your child to a dentist is after his or her 1st birthday. The dentist will examine your child’s mouth to determine if proper brushing and flossing is being done. Visits to the dentist are important for an early detection and prevention of possible dental problems. Such visits can also help your child get used to and familiar with the dentist and will have less fear of dental checkups in the future.
There are three main reasons why you have to take your child for dental checkups: You will know if you are doing the right oral cleaning at home with your child. You and your dentist can help prevent future dental problems. Your dentist can determine if there are any issues and can treat them. However, if your child is scared of going to the dentist and makes it hard for you to bring him or her for the regular checkups, you can help your child to relax and be comfortable by following these simple tips: Take your child to the dentist as soon as the first tooth comes out or at the age of 1. The younger the child visits the dentist, the better. Use positive words like “strong, healthy teeth” and avoid using the words “pain”, “Shot”, or “hurt”.
Keep the first visit simple and don’t tell your child too many details like tooth filling or extraction to avoid unnecessary anxiety in the child. However, don’t give your child false hope also if a treatment is necessary. Get your child familiar with the routine of dental checkups before the first visit by playing with your child and pretending to be the dentist and patient. Make it fun and enjoyable and allow your child to role-play too by brushing and checking the teeth of a stuffed toy or doll.
Never take your child with you during your own dental checkups because you yourself might feel anxious without knowing it and the child will feel it. Adult dental checkups have a completely different ambiance than that of pediatric dental clinic. Be ready for a little fussing yet stay calm. Allow the dentist and the staff to handle the resisting child because it is part of their work and they are trained to do it. You might be asked to stay at a distance or to hold your child’s hand to make him or her comfortable.
Don’t promise your child any treat if he or she behaves well at the dental clinic. This might give a wrong message to the child (like what’s so scary that you are telling him not to cry, or why emphasize that the dentist clean her teeth if you are going to give her a chocolate after the visit). Just praise your child for the good behavior and tell your child how proud you are of him or her for that. Make your child feel that visits to the dentist is necessary to make sure his or her teeth are always clean and strong. Emphasize that proper dental care is important.