Oral Care for Toddlers
When should I start brushing my child’s teeth? When should I schedule her first dentist appointment? Should I help her floss her teeth or is she too young for that? How would I know if she needs braces? What is the right age to put on braces?
It is completely normal for parents to go through these worries as their child is growing up because all they want to do is prevent cavities and rotten teeth but most of the time they don’t know when to start and how to start. This article gives you a little bit of an idea on how to keep your child’s teeth clean and healthy.
Best time to start dental care
By right, dental care for kids should begin even before their first tooth appears which means just because you can’t see the teeth, it doesn’t mean it is non-existent. For your information, teeth start to form in the second trimester of your pregnancy, which is why you need to include a lot of calcium in your diet. By the time your baby is born, she already has about 20 primary teeth, most of them already fully developed in the jaw.
You can keep your baby’s teeth clean by running a warm damp washcloth over her gums or using a baby toothbrush with a tiny bit of toothpaste and gently brushing her teeth at least until the age of two, because once they reach two most of them are able to spit which is when they can start learning to brush their teeth with a bigger amount of toothpaste.
This may come as a surprise to you, but even babies can develop tooth decay. Of course, this only happens if good feeding habits are not practiced from the start. For example, putting a baby to sleep with a bottle in their mouth is very convenient, no doubt about that but it is harmful to your baby’s teeth. This happens because the sugars from juices or milk can eat away the enamel when left in a baby’s mouth for hours.
This condition is called bottle mouth, which results in all their discoloured front teeth having to be pulled out until permanent teeth start growing. The best way to prevent the bottle mouth condition would be to set a certain time each day for feeding because too many hours of sucking on a bottle can result in rotten teeth at a young age.
Best treatment for oral care
The best kind of doctor to take your toddler to for her oral check up would be a pediatric dentist. These doctors specialize in treating all sorts of child related oral problems. They would also be able to help you by informing you if your child needs a visit to the orthodontist and so on.
Their main goal is to prevent any oral problems in children and to maintain a healthy and happy mouth for your child.
Best way to prevent cavities
The best time to take your toddler for her first dental check up would be by her first birthday. During this visit, the pediatric dentist would most likely explain proper brushing and flossing techniques and run some other tests while your baby sits on your lap.
Early visits can help detect dental problems in the early stages and would help get your toddler get used to the dentist and help reduce their fear of visiting the dentist, as they grow older.
Brushing teeth at least twice a day and routine flossing will definitely help in maintaining a healthy mouth. Children as young as two or three years old should use a pea sized amount of toothpaste and parents should make sure that their toddler spits out the toothpaste instead of swallowing.
As your child’s permanent teeth grow in, the dentist will be able to help seal decay by applying a thin wash of resin to the back teeth, known as sealant. However, home care is extremely important. Having sealants placed in, does not mean your child is allowed to eat junk food. It is your job as a parent to make sure your child’s mouth is clean.
As your toddler starts growing older, the straightness of their teeth might be an issue. Orthodontic treatment begins earlier now than it used to back in the day. It may not be what your child wants but it is really just for her own good.
Dentists know that manipulation of teeth at a younger age is more effective in the long run. Younger children’s teeth can be positioned with relatively minor orthodontia and preventing major orthodontia later on.
As your child grows, make sure to schedule a dental check up once in every three to six months. Also, be sure that your child does not consume so much sugary food, which may result in rotten teeth or other oral problems. Good oral hygiene from a young age is a great start to a healthy mouth and life for your child.