Like adult teeth, your child’s teeth are prone to decay and cavities. You can start your child on an early dental care routine and seek expert advice from dentists such as Skyline Smiles who are specialized in caring for children’s dental health. The dentists will help you develop a dental care plan that works for young children.
When Should Your Child Start Brushing Teeth?
Your child will have 20 teeth fully developed in the jaw at birth, so it is prudent to start a good dental plan even before the teeth appear. You can use a damp cloth over their gums which removes the harmful bacteria from the mouth. When the teeth begin to appear you can clean them using an infant brush. You should aim at minimizing the swallowing of toothpaste when brushing, thus it is better to use a tiny bit with plenty of water. Once the teeth touch each other, you can minimize bacteria build-up by flossing them.
Supervise the Child
You can help your child brush their teeth till they are five years, at two years it could help to teach them to spit the toothpaste. At first, you can avoid giving them water to swish before they spit to minimize the toothpaste swallowed. You can increase the toothpaste from a tiny grain-size to pea-size for effective cleaning. Once the child is five years, you can let them brush the teeth under your supervision.
Feeding Your Child
Your baby could get cavities especially if you leave them with a bottle throughout the night since baby food like juices, formula, and milk have sugars that cause teeth decay. The sugars allow growth of harmful bacteria that can eat away the enamel leading to ‘bottle mouth’. Your child’s front teeth are likely to get discolored forming cavities which could require tooth extraction in severe cases.
When to See a Dentist
Your child should see a dentist by their first birthday, as your dentist will conduct a modified exam and explain brushing and flossing techniques that work for the child. Your dentists will identify issues earlier that are likely to affect your child in adulthood and help correct the issues before they are out of hand. It could help if the dentist treats issues associated with child health as they will know how to relate with a child making the visit more fruitful. If the child is prone to cavities you may need to apply topical fluoride which hardens the enamel and wards off childhood oral disease.
How to Prevent Cavities in Children
- Your child should adopt good oral habits earlier and use enough fluoride which hardens the enamel of their teeth.
- You may wish to avoid some food that contains too much sugar such as candy, juices, fruit leather, and gummy vitamins that could erode the enamel.
As your child grows, you can adopt a dental routine that involves using a wet cloth that removes bacteria even before the teeth grow. You can use toothpaste that contains fluoride to clean their teeth as the fluoride hardens their teeth and kills bacteria in the mouth. You should supervise the child when they are brushing their teeth till they are five years and you can teach them good dental care. It could help to let them get an annual dental check at your doctor’s office to identify issues and treat them before they blow out of proportion.