As parents, we all want our kids to be as healthy as possible and that includes looking after their teeth. Dental hygiene is important for children but some parents are unsure when to schedule an appointment for their child’s first visit to the dentist. Many parents choose to wait until their little one has a few of their baby teeth come in, but it’s never too early to familiarise your child with the dental environment. Taking your child to the dentist at an early age not only helps minimize any future fears but a dentist can help parents identify any oral health issues and give advice on how to prevent decay.
When should you take your child to the dentist?
Ideally, you should schedule a dental appointment within the first six months of your child getting their first tooth. It’s recommended by the American Dental Association that children should see a dentist by their first birthday. During the first visit, the dentist will do a modified exam while your child sits on your lap, and they will explain proper brushing and flossing techniques. It helps to find a friendly, welcoming dentist like those at Smile Spa who try to create a unique and special atmosphere to put patients at ease.
What age should you start brushing your child’s teeth?
You can start brushing your baby’s teeth when the first tooth appears. This can be done twice a day with an infant toothbrush and a tiny amount of fluoride toothpaste which helps prevent decay. Before your baby starts teething, you can use a clean, damp washcloth over their gums to help clear away any harmful bacteria.
As your child gets older, you should teach them different dental habits. Children aged 2 should learn to spit when brushing their teeth, and from the age of 3 a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste should be used. It’s important to supervise kids under the age of 8 as they are more likely to swallow toothpaste. Remember to make brushing teeth as fun as possible by using a timer for 2 minutes so it feels like less of a chore for your child.
How can you prevent cavities?
A cavity can occur when the teeth are not brushed properly, leaving food and bacteria on the tooth which then allows acid to collect and soften the enamel. A cavity can form, resulting in the tooth being pulled out and leaving damage to the structure of the mouth. This can lead to other teeth growing into the empty space, causing problems later on when the adult tooth begins to grow in.
To prevent cavities, it’s important to teach your children good oral habits early on, such as brushing teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and to floss regularly. By using fluoride toothpaste often, it helps strengthen the enamel and makes it harder for acid to collect and penetrate.
To help look after your kid’s teeth, instill good oral habits from an early age. Encourage regular brushing and flossing, limit the number of sugary foods, and remember to schedule a dental appointment every six months.
What do you do to look after your kids teeth? Let me know in the comments below!