Most new parents are often unsure as to when their child should have his or her first dental visit. For some, it makes sense to wait until the child develops all the primary teeth. However, this is a dental risk for the baby because the teeth can take two or three years, on average, to fully develop or, in some cases appear. Such a long period can lead to adverse dental conditions that are entirely avoidable. Charlotte Pediatric Dentists recommend your child come in as soon as they start showing teeth for x-rays and plan.
Pediatric Dentist visits are a necessary part of a child’s growth and development that caters for the child’s oral hygiene and well-being. The visits should start as soon as the child starts having signs of dental growth, which can be as early as five months of age. However, the child should begin exclusively pediatric dental care at the period of twelve months.
Once the teeth appear so do the complexities of having good oral health; dental complications start when the following are present:
- Teeth are present as the child develops.
- Presence of bacteria since the child is feeding and as such food crumbs will be present for the bacteria to thrive.
When Should Pediatric Dental Care Start?
It is essential for parents to understand that while dental care and oral hygiene for the baby should start even before the teeth appear, it vital to exercise adequate dental care and oral hygiene as soon as the first tooth comes up. Such measures are meant to preserve the child’s dental and oral health. Here are several tips worth remembering.
Avoid bedtime bottles unless it is water. Milk for the teething toddler is also not advisable. Any sugary foods even diluted health drinks are a big NO.
Minimize your child’s consumption of sugary foods during the day. Moreover, ensure that the child does not consume undiluted juices or take coffee.
Your baby will need to occasional dental care visits with the family pediatric dentist as soon as the first tooth appears. However, the visits should become regular once the child is at least three years of age.
Brushing should start as soon as the child has his or her first tooth. Use a soft, moist cloth to clean the babies tooth. You can transition from the cloth to a soft-bristled small brush and a bit of baby toothpaste. The baby will not have any discomforts with the brushing or the toothpaste because the brushing also massages the gums and most baby toothpaste has a pleasant taste.
Help your child to brush the teeth until he or she is five or six years of age. Brushing should be every morning and night. An electric toothbrush is ideal. It is also essential to teach the child how to brush alone but ensure there is supervision during the early stages. They should know how to clean the top and bottom jaw. A simple trick would be having them count to forty when brushing the top teeth and up to twenty for the bottom teeth.
Thumbing-sucking is a habit that some babies start at an early age. It is a habit that can change the dental formation and increase the need for orthodontics as the child grows. It is vital to help the child to quit the habit. The use of pacifiers can also cause a similar effect thus it is important to start weaning the child off the pacifier when he or she is at least two years of age.
As the child gets older, let him or her know of the dental risk associated with eating things that stick in their teeth – especially foods like candy, chocolates, popcorn, and nuts.
Teaching Children Dental Hygiene
It can, at times, prove to be a bit of a challenge determining the best approach to encourage children to practice good dental health. However, it is necessary for parents to teach children the importance of teeth and gums and how they should always stay clean and healthy. The primary issue is when to start a routine dental hygiene habit.
Infant Pediatric Dental Care Tips
The gum will show signs of teeth coming up, and the baby will show signs of discomfort by around five to six months of age. Use a soft, moist cloth to wipe the gums after feeding the baby and then transition to a soft-bristled small brush when the teeth come up fully. Cleaning should be done with clean, warm water.
Start weaning the baby from the pacifier and avoid giving the baby milk or any sugary foods during bedtime.
Schedule the first pediatric appointment with a pediatric dentist to get further dental attention and also know about the baby’s dental growth progress.
Toddlers Pediatric Dental Care Tips
The child should be able to brush with limited help, first under your supervision and then alone. Ensure the child uses the right toothbrush size and enough toothpaste (pea size). The child should learn how to brush the upper and lower teeth and to rinse with water.
Schedule regular dental visits for the child to learn about preventive methods from the doctor and also get a complete dental checkup.
Teach the child about the risk of eating certain foods and the importance of brushing teeth every morning and night.
Other important pediatric dental care tips include:
- Encourage your child to eat nutritious foods especially fruits and vegetables
- Restrict the consumption of sweetened drinks while encouraging the child to drink plenty of water
- Help the child learn how to floss
- Carefully monitor your child to ensure he or she keeps to a set teeth-cleaning routine.
Pediatric Dentist offers credit care, insurance, and other financial options.