Lifelong oral health begins with a good oral health routine at a young age. Here, our Langley dentists share some ways that you can help your child keep a healthy smile.
Every day, your child learns and grows in new ways. 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.
Why are baby teeth so important?
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 should I take care of 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 twice per day (morning and night) to prevent cavities.
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.
Visit your child's dentist regularly
Make sure you regularly schedule appointments for teeth cleaning. Twice a year is normally ideal for hygiene and prevention. This can also allow your dentist to see and treat smaller issues before they turn into bigger problems.
Limit sugary or acidic treats
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.
Look into dental sealants for your child
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.
Check into fluoride treatment
Fluoride is a proactive measure to help protect your child's teeth from cavities.
Once all the baby teeth have erupted, start flossing. There are special flossers for kids.
This is general advice. Certain children may have special circumstances and may need to see the dentist more often for checkups or cleanings.