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Dental Care for Children: Establishing Healthy Habits Early

Young girl smiling in dental office.
Instilling good oral hygiene habits in children from a young age is crucial for their long-term dental health. By teaching your child proper dental care practices, you can help prevent the development of cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues.

Starting Early

Begin cleaning your baby’s gums even before their first tooth appears. Use a soft, damp cloth or an infant gum massager to gently wipe their gums after feedings. Once the first tooth emerges, switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush designed for infants.

Brushing and Flossing

Teach your child to brush their teeth at least twice a day, using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Encourage them to brush for two minutes, making sure to clean all surfaces of the teeth and their tongue. As soon as your child has two teeth that touch, start flossing between them daily.

Regular Dental Visits

Schedule your child’s first dental appointment by their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth eruption. Regular dental check-ups are essential for monitoring your child’s oral health and catching potential issues early.

Healthy Eating Habits

Encourage a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products. Limit sugary snacks and beverages, which can contribute to tooth decay. Teach your child to rinse their mouth with water after eating to help wash away food particles and neutrali[z]e acids.

Addressing Common Pediatric Dental Concerns

Some typical dental issues faced by children include:

  • Baby bottle tooth decay: Caused by prolonged exposure to sugary liquids, avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle or switch to water instead.
  • Thumb sucking: Most children outgrow this habit by age four, but if it persists, contact us for guidance.
  • Cavities: Teach your child the importance of proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits to prevent tooth decay.

If you notice any oral health problems persisting for your children, we’d love to see them in the practice soon. Call today to book a visit for your family.

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