Now is the time to teach your child good oral hygiene habits! It is really never too soon to stress the importance of brushing, flossing, and regular checkups and cleanings at the dentist. Dr. Hubbard and the team at Coastal Pediatric Dentistry takes your child's dental care seriously and are here to help you learn everything you need to know to ensure your child has a lifetime of healthy teeth and a great smile!
Again, it's never too soon to start taking care of your child's teeth - and that actually includes the months even before their first tooth comes in! That's right! Before your child even gets their first tooth, you should wipe their gums with a clean, damp wash cloth or an infant gum massager. When your child's baby teeth do finally come in, you should be sure to brush them twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush and water. (Refrain from using toothpaste at this time.) You should begin using toothpaste to brush your child's teeth around two years of age. Use only a small amount (about the size of a pea) because young children tend to swallow toothpaste when brushing, rather than spitting it out. Flossing should begin as soon as two teeth begin to touch each other.
It is crucial to take good care of your child's baby teeth. Although they will all eventually fall out, the baby teeth do have an important role in helping your speak clearly, bite, and chew food. They also are place markers that save space for their permanent teeth and underneath the roots and position of the adult teeth are already growing into place. Eventually your child will want to brush their own teeth. You should definitely encourage this, but you should always brush your child's teeth a second time. FYI - Most children won't be able to brush their teeth well enough on their own until they are about eight years old.
Studies indicate that children who develop cavities while they still have their baby teeth are more likely to develop cavities as an adult as well. Regular visits to the dentist are crucial for healthy teeth and gums. It is important to keep your child's baby teeth clean, but once the permanent teeth start to come in, cleaning them should be a top priority.
Children face many of the same issues as adults when it comes to teeth and gum health. If your child is at high risk for cavities, reduce the amount of starchy snacks, such as crackers and chips, and be sure to limit sugary beverages such as soda and even juice. You may not realize that giving your child sweet drinks several times a day or allowing them to fall asleep with a bottle, can be harmful to their teeth.
Be sure to schedule regular cleanings and checkups with Dr. Hubbard and her team at Coastal Pediatric Dentistry. Children should have their teeth cleaned twice per year at our Beaufort, Bluffton, or Hilton Head offices.