Starting an oral hygiene routine and developing these habits early can go a long way in preventing issues down the road. Here, our Surrey dental teams share some ways that you can help keep your child's smile healthy and give them a good start to lifelong oral health.
Your child is growing constantly, and it happens faster than any of us expect. Because these years can lay the groundwork for lifelong oral health, it's critical to keep an eye on your toddler's baby teeth and smile from the start. We'll talk about how important baby teeth are and how you can help your child maintain a healthy smile right away.
What is the importance of your child's first teeth?
You may be wondering why baby teeth are still needed if they are not permanent and will fall out eventually. The first baby teeth, usually the bottom front teeth, appear around the age of six months. By the age of three, your child should have ten upper teeth, ten lower teeth, and the last baby teeth in the back of the mouth and upper jaw.
Baby teeth serve a variety of functions in the mouths of our young patients. They are for talking, eating, and brightening up the room with a smile. Baby teeth in a child's mouth also serve as placeholders for adult teeth in the jaws.
Around age 6, your child should begin to lose their first baby tooth and adult teeth will start to emerge. The timing of this tooth loss is critical. If your child loses a baby tooth too early, contact your child's dentist about how the correct space can be kept in the mouth so the adult teeth will erupt normally.
How do you care for these baby teeth?
Now is the time to create a solid oral healthcare routine for your child. By combining at-home care with regular dental visits, you can help keep your child's smile healthy.
Brush your child's teeth twice daily.
Use a wet pad or cloth to clean your infant's mouth. Use an ultra-soft toothbrush and a grain of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice for children under the age of three. Children over the age of three should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
Once your child can spit out all of the toothpaste after brushing, switch to fluoridated toothpaste (ask your dentist before switching). Brush your child's teeth together until every tooth is clean.
Bring your child to the dentist for routine exams and hygiene cleanings.
Make sure you regularly schedule appointments for teeth cleaning. This should happen twice each year for a full examination and cleaning. This can also allow your dentist to see and treat smaller issues before they turn into bigger problems.
Limit your child's intake of sugars and acidic foods and beverages.
Soda and fruit juice's high acidity and sugar content can harm your child's baby teeth. Candy and other sweets erode tooth enamel and increase your child's chances of developing cavities.
Ask about dental sealants to protect your child's teeth.
Sealants are special coatings that are applied to the grooves and pits of a child's molars. These protect biting surfaces from tooth decay. If your child is at high risk of developing cavities, your dentist may recommend sealants.
Talk to your child's dentist about fluoride treatments.
Fluoride is a natural mineral that can be used to strengthen teeth. It is used as a proactive measure to help protect your child's teeth from cavities.
Be sure to regularly floss your child's teeth.
Once all the baby teeth have erupted, start flossing. There are even small flossers that are perfectly sized and shaped for small teeth and small hands.
This is general advice. Certain children may have special circumstances and may need to see the dentist more often for checkups or cleanings.