What’s new in Children’s Dentistry: Part Two Topic – 5 Tips in Dental Care to Implement Right Away
Tooth decay in young children is a U.S. and worldwide concern. Latest data shows that nearly one in five children in America under the age of 5 had cavities in 2015-2016. This public health crisis poses a threat to the oral and overall health and development of young children. Following are 5 tips that will help ensure your child enjoys a healthy smile for years to come.
1. Schedule a Dental Checkup and Cleaning
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends taking your child to see a pediatric dentist by the first birthday. During your visit, we will provide tips on proper oral hygiene practices for cavity prevention, and will recommend how often your child should return for checkups.
One of our most important goals is to work with you to establish a dental home for your kids where you’ll get the latest information and ensure that any problems are spotted and treated in their earliest stages. This will save you involved and costly treatments down the road.
2. Brush Teeth Twice Daily
Brushing is important from a very young age. Even before your baby’s teeth come in, you can gently brush the gums using warm water on a baby toothbrush or on a soft washcloth.
When your baby’s teeth start appearing, brush twice a day with an infant toothbrush and a tiny smear of fluoridated toothpaste. As more teeth come in and your child brushes independently, make sure to supervise to ensure proper brushing techniques and make sure the teeth all the way in the back are cleaned.
3. Floss daily
Flossing should start as soon as any two teeth are touching each other. Regardless of how well you brush your child’s teeth, you will not be able to get all the food or plaque out from between the teeth.
4. Avoid Sugary Treats and Drinks
Avoid putting your child down for a nap with a bottle of juice to prevent tooth decay. If your child insists on taking a bottle to bed, make sure it contains only water. If your child uses a sippy cup, keep in mind that constant sipping on juices or sugary drinks can lead to decay on the back of the front teeth.
It’s best to limit sweet treats such as candies and cookies. Consider saving these treats for after meals, since this is the time the most amount of saliva is produced, which better helps protect your child’s teeth. Better yet, brush your child’s teeth after consuming sugary treats.
5. Discourage Pacifiers and Thumbsucking by Age 2 or 3
While pacifiers and thumbsucking provide comfort to your child, it’s time to break these habits by age 2 or 3. In the long run, these practices can negatively affect your child’s oral health. Vigorous sucking can result in problems with primary teeth, along with changes in the bite, resulting in crooked, misaligned teeth, meaning your child may need orthodontic treatment down the road.
Contact Us Today
Visit Smile Explorers, your trusted Deer Valley, AZ Pediatric Dentist, to learn more about preventive measures designed to promote your child’s oral health. Our experienced and child-friendly staff is all about keeping your child’s smile healthy for a lifetime. Call us and schedule your child’s appointment today!