About 40 percent of children have tooth decay by age 5, reports the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Improper or infrequent brushing and flossing are cited as the main causes for kids tooth decay.
Proper oral care for children can prevent tooth decay, and you can start now to teach your child good dental health habits.
Sacramento dentist Dr. Arben Celaj, D.D.S. offers up a few tips to help you protect your child’s teeth and prevent kids tooth decay.
Sacramento Dentist Recommends First Visit By First Birthday
A baby’s teeth will start popping through their gums usually after they turns six months old. But don’t wait until you see teeth to start caring for their mouths. BabyCenter recommends that you wipe a soft, moist cloth over her gums once a day. That practice removes bacteria and prepares her for the toothbrush that will soon be part of her daily children’s oral health self-care routine.
After the first teeth emerge, buy a baby toothbrush. It will have a small head and soft bristles that remove bacteria without harming the gums. Use only a rice grain amount of toothpaste and gently scrub the teeth and tongue. If you’ve been washing off your child’s gums, they should be receptive to the toothbrush. If they fight you, brush when they’re well rested and make it a normal and expected part of your daily children’s dental health routine.
At our Sacramento Dentist office, we recommend children to make their first dental visit right around the first birthday. We will look in the child’s mouth, answer all of your children’s oral health care questions and schedule the next appointment. Unless your child’s mouth is already full of teeth by that time, they’ll probably return to our Sacramento dentist near their second birthday.
Toddler Oral Care
Most of your child’s teeth should be visible now that they’re a toddler, so keep brushing twice a day. Also, continue using a tiny amount of toothpaste. Fluoride paste includes the mineral that prevents tooth decay as it strengthens enamel and fights bacteria.
Kidshealth.org recommends that you only use fluoride toothpaste if your local water supply doesn’t contain between 0.7 and 1.2 parts per million – and your Sacramento dentist recommends it. Otherwise, kid’s teeth could develop white spots. And, you’ll definitely want to begin teaching your toddler to brush on their own. Teach by example, with positive reinforcement, and always monitor your child’s dental health habits to prevent kids tooth decay from the beginning.
You’ll also want to introduce flossing since your toddler’s teeth are probably touching by now. Use a brightly colored floss pick or follow parenting.com expert advice and wrap regular floss in a C shape around each tooth. By including this oral care activity in your evening routine, it will become a habit when children are starting preschool and are more able to maneuver the dental floss on their own.
Preschool Oral Care
Now that your child is older, they can usually brush by themselves. A rinse that reveals plaque teaches your preschooler to brush every tooth’s surface. To make brushing fun, try flavored toothpaste, a spin brush that’s cool to operate and stimulates the gums or a manual brush that’s decorated with a favorite character.
Elementary Oral Care
By kindergarten, children’s oral health care should be habit. Your child should be able to apply toothpaste, brush properly and floss. And she should be seeing your Sacramento dentist every six months.
Since you started your child with good oral care habits when they were just a baby, you’ve equipped them to care properly for their pearly whites. They’re now on their way to a lifetime of healthy smiles and, hopefully, not battling any kids tooth decay.
Sacramento Dentist Open Saturdays for Kids & Parents
We are currently scheduling “Back to School” appointments, and have both midweek and Saturday dental appointments available. Call us today at (916) 488-1933.
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Portions of this post was republished with permission from: DentalPatient News.com.