At TruDentistry of Tigard, we place a lot of emphasis on preventive dental care. There is no better time to start your child’s oral health care routine as they reach their first birthday. This is an important milestone in a child’s life and a good place to start establishing good dental habits.
Start here and set your child up for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
To help our patients navigate their child’s oral care, we have complied some of the best practices we know that will keep your child’s teeth healthy for a lifetime.
Starting Right Means Starting Early
When you see the first tooth erupt in your child’s mouth, typically around six months, begin cleaning your child’s mouth by using a soft, damp cloth to gently clean their gums. As more teeth start to emerge, you can switch over to an infant toothbrush. They have soft bristles and are designed to be gentle on baby’s mouth.
Toothpaste and Techniques:
When the child reaches their second birthday, they are ready to be introduced to a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Teach them proper brushing techniques including how to spit out the toothpaste. Emphasize the importance of reaching all the surfaces of the teeth and gums. You will want to supervise their brushing until you are confident in their ability to do a good job at brushing their own teeth.
Regular Dental Check-ups:
As your child approaches their first birthday, then it is time to make their very first dental checkup appointment. The checkup will be most essential as we can start to monitor oral development. Establishing a positive relationship with the dentist will serve your child well in the future. For the dental team, it is important to be able to identify potential issues early on. You will want to bring your child into the dental office twice a year unless otherwise recommended.
Provide your child with a healthy diet from the beginning to ensure good oral health and overall well-being. A well-balanced diet contributes significantly to oral health. Keep sugary snacks and beverages to a minimum, as they can lead to tooth decay. Encourage a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, dairy, and lean proteins. Teach your child that drinking water is especially important as it helps rinse away food particles and keeps the mouth hydrated.
Discourage the Pacifier and Thumb-Sucking
It is natural for infants to want to suck their thumb or use a pacifier, but when this habit is prolonged, it can have a big impact on the development of their teeth. Look for other ways to comfort your child as you wean them off the thumb sucking and pacifiers. Help them make the transition by offering comfort and support.
Protecting Your Child’s Teeth
Once your child moves out of the toddler stage and on into childhood, physical activities, and sports that they may become involved with will bring new challenges in protecting their teeth. We offer a solution for this known as the dental mouth guard. Accidents happen all too often, and a dental mouthguard will help your child to protect their beautiful smile.
Lead by Example:
Children do learn from example and by observation of their parents. It is a great idea to brush and floss along with your child. Demonstrate and reinforce the importance of a clean and healthy mouth. Make dental care a positive, healthy, and shared experience.
Protect With Dental Sealants
At TruDentistry, we highly recommend applying dental sealants to the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth. This is a very simple treatment that takes only a few minutes and there is no discomfort. These sealants act as a barrier to the bacteria that can wreak havoc on young teeth.
Fostering good oral habits and using the preventive treatments that we offer children; you can set your child up for a lifetime of good oral health. Setting a solid foundation of oral health practices can ensure that your child will have a lifetime of beautiful smiles.