roper dental care is just as important for kids as for adults. Neglecting teeth early on can set the stage for lots of dental problems later in life. A Nashua, NH dentist is a great resource for how to best care for a child’s teeth.
Brush Teeth Early and Often
Teefs! (Photo credit: makelessnoise)
Whether a child has one tooth or a mouthful, it is essential to brush every day. Baby’s teeth should be brushed at least once a day; water on a baby toothbrush with soft bristles can be used or teeth can be wiped off with a damp washcloth. By the time she is several years old a child should be brushing and flossing once in the morning and once at night, with parental help. A child will be able to brush her own teeth by approximately age six. Flossing takes a little longer to master; learning how to do it well may not occur until at least age 10. Getting buy-in from a child can make oral hygiene easier and even fun; letting her choose the toothbrush she wants is a good way to engage her in the process.
Control Pacifiers and Thumb Sucking
It is very natural and soothing for a young child to want to suck on a pacifier or his/ her thumb, but long term use can cause problems for the teeth and mouth. Many dentists recommend the use of pacifiers and thumb sucking should stop by the time a child is two. A family dentist can provide tips on how to make sure this transition occurs.
Avoid Putting a Baby Down With a Bottle
It can be tempting to give a child a bottle of milk or juice when putting them down for a nap or the night. This habit can actually cause a lot of problems; the sugars in these drinks can stick to teeth and feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Schedule Regular Dental Visits
It is a good idea to take a child to the dentist after the first tooth appears or by his/ her first birthday, whichever happens first. After that, bi-annual dental visits are recommended. When the whole family goes to the same dentist, the experience becomes very familiar and appointments can be consecutively scheduled for convenience.
Have a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is essential for healthy teeth. Eating lots of fruits and vegetable and limiting sugar as much as possible can go a long way towards keeping teeth looking good and cavity free. Restricting fruit juice consumption can also help; fruit juice has very high sugar content and can easily cause tooth decay.
Get Into a Good Routine
Getting into a good dental routine right off the bat will lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth. Parents who have great oral hygiene can be very positive role models for their children; it will be harder for parents to insist their children eat well and brush regularly if they don’t do these things themselves.
Following these tips can assist in establishing good dental habits early in life. Taking the time to discuss them with Fisichelli, Beach and Brar Family Dentistry can provide additional helpful information that will guide your child to good oral hygiene in the future!
Article Contributor: Fisichelli, Beach & Brar Family Dentistry provides comprehensive dental care to patients in Nashua, NH. Follow our practice online at the FBB Family Dentistry Blog here: http://fbbfamilydentistry.wordpress.com