Good dental health habits can be learned from an early age. To ensure your children will have healthy teeth throughout their lives, you can begin by teaching them how to maintain good dental hygiene. Your family dentist can help with this important endeavor.
Dental Hygiene in the Early Years
Good dental hygiene is the best way to reduce your likelihood of developing cavities and gum disease. You can start reinforcing these habits even before your child has any teeth. An infant can be introduced to dental care if the parent cleans the child’s gums with a soft cloth or a piece of gauze on a regular basis. This helps your baby get used to having his mouth cleaned so it won’t be as unexpected when you begin brushing his teeth.
An infant can be introduced to dental care if the parent cleans the child’s gums with a soft cloth or a piece of gauze on a regular basis.
When the first teeth begin to arrive, clean them with a soft brush and toothpaste made especially for babies. Don’t let your child fall asleep with a bottle that contains anything other than water, and avoid allowing your child to use a bottle throughout the day. Juice or formula can pool in the mouth, causing severe decay often referred to as “baby bottle mouth.”
The First Visits to the Dentist
Ask your family dentist when he would like to see your baby for the first time. Some dentists would like the first appointment to happen shortly after the first teeth arrive. Others recommend a general dentistry appointment at a year or later. These appointments help determine a baseline for your child’s overall dental health. With early X-rays, your family dentist can determine if there are likely to be problems as permanent teeth arrive and can also diagnose cavities earlier.
When permanent teeth start to arrive, your dentist will probably recommend sealants. This helps reduce the likelihood of cavities in the permanent molars by creating a barrier to the bacteria that causes decay. Your dentist will also provide fluoride treatments and thorough cleaning to keep your child’s teeth healthy and cavity-free.
If you have a little one and want to get a head start on their dental hygiene, call the caring team at Daniel C. Bush, DDS to make an appointment.