Good Children’s Dentistry Starts Even Before Birth
As a parent, you undoubtedly want to give your child the best care possible, and that includes dental care. Even if your little bub hasn’t come into the world yet, it is never too early to start practising good dental health. Your baby’s teeth start forming just six weeks into your pregnancy, so it is important to ensure your pregnancy diet includes plenty of protein and calcium to promote healthy development.
Once your baby is born, you can start reinforcing good dental habits. Here’s what you need to do:
Get a Good Start
Even when your little one doesn’t have any teeth yet, you’ll still need to keep their mouth clean. After a feed, clean your baby’s gums gently with a sterile, damp cloth to remove any residue or bacteria. As the teeth begin to appear, continue to clean them gently with a soft-bristled brush. Hold off on toothpaste until your child is old enough to understand not to swallow it, typically around 2 years of age.
Demonstrate Good Dental Habits
You are your child’s first teacher, so it is important to show your little one proper dental care right from the start. Let your baby watch while you brush and floss your own teeth so that they know what is expected of them. Be sure to demonstrate proper technique so that your child learns the correct way to care for their own teeth and gums.
Don’t Forget Fluoride
After age 2, you can start helping your child brush with a small dab of fluoride toothpaste. It is also a good idea to find out if your area fortifies its water supply with fluoride, as not all jurisdictions do. If yours does not, talk to your children’s dentistry provider about whether you and your kids need fluoride supplements.
Minimise Sugar Intake
There is no quicker way to start tooth decay than to fill your child’s mouth with sugar all the time. While it is virtually impossible to avoid all sugar, as many foods, including healthy fruits, have plenty of natural sugar, you can limit processed or added sugar in your child’s diet. Don’t give your kids sugary drinks like pop or fruit punch, and keep juice to a minimum. Your child should mostly be drinking milk and water. Not only will this tip help keep your child’s teeth health, but it will help their body as well, lowering their risk of childhood obesity.
Keep Up with Regular Check-Ups
Around your child’s first birthday, you should schedule their first visit to your children’s dentistry provider. Going forward, you’ll want to bring your child back for check-ups about once every six months, just as you do for yourself. Try to make the first experience as relaxed as possible so that your child can establish a positive impression of going to the dentist. This will make things much easier in the years to come.
When you are ready to schedule this all-important first appointment, or if you simply have questions about proper dental care for your child, we welcome you to get in touch with our office. Our friendly children’s dentistry associates are always happy to assist with whatever you need. We love working with kids and do everything in our power to help your child feel as comfortable as possible while in our office. Call today to book your child’s next dental appointment.