The moment a child’s first tooth appears, parents should start thinking about dental care. Healthy baby teeth help kids speak, chew, and smile, and they also set the stage for strong adult teeth. Below are a few dentist-recommended tips to put your little one on the path to excellent oral health.
How to Care for a Young Child’s Teeth
1. Teach Proper Habits
Once your child has a tooth, help them brush at least twice a day with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens the teeth and protects them from cavities. If your child is under three years old, use a tiny amount of the toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. After age three, increase to the size of a pea. By sticking to these small amounts, you’ll prevent your child from swallowing too much fluoride, which can cause an upset stomach.
Make sure your child brushes for two minutes and that they reach their back teeth. Also, teach them to floss at least once a day with floss that comes on a handle. Babies and toddlers will need you to brush and floss for them, but as they age, gradually transition to a supervisor role.
2. Think About Nutrition
Oral bacteria use sugar to create acids. These acids weaken the teeth and often lead to cavities. Decrease your child’s risk of cavities by limiting candy, desserts, soda, fruit juice, and other sugary items. Present these foods and drinks as occasional treats, and make sure your child brushes and flosses after consuming them. Focus on tooth-healthy snacks, such as carrots, apples, and cheese.
3. Visit the Dentist
A child should start visiting the dentist when their first tooth appears, and no later than their first birthday. The dentist will examine your child’s mouth to ensure their teeth are developing properly and give you oral care advice. They’ll also discuss whether your child needs fluoride supplements; most kids don’t need them unless they live in an area where the water isn’t fluoridated. Talk to your pediatrician for more information on supplements.
These early visits help your little one become comfortable at the dentist’s office. Schedule an appointment twice a year. Also, contact your dentist if your child is experiencing tooth pain or has brown or white spots on their teeth; these symptoms may indicate tooth decay.
Keep your child’s teeth healthy and strong with the help of Tri-Cities Dental. Located in Colleyville, TX, lead dentist Dr. Rachana Sangani and her compassionate team will ensure your little one feels as comfortable as possible so that you enjoy a stress-free visit. With over 25 years of combined experience, they’ll give you expert advice on how to best care for your child’s smile. For more information about their services, visit them online. Call (817) 283-3427 to schedule an appointment.