New parents may be surprised by the American Dental Association’s recommendations on infant oral care. Parents are advised to begin brushing their baby’s teeth as soon as the first teeth emerge. After all, brand-new teeth are just as vulnerable to cavities as older teeth.
Use a cloth and a smidgen of toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) to wipe each tooth. As more teeth come in, it becomes more critical for the teeth to be brushed after each meal or, at least, twice a day.
It is critical to select the proper toothbrush, in order to make brushing time as pleasant as possible. A soft bristled brush is best with a small amount of toothpaste. Infant and toddler-sized toothbrushes with a small head of bristles are beneficial. Also, there are circle and triangular-shaped brushes that allow your toddler to walk around with their brush with less chance of injury in case of a fall.
If the toothpaste is causing an unpleasant struggle, brush without toothpaste. The goal is to remove food parts that will create bacteria followed by plaque and then cavities.
When two teeth touch, it’s time to floss. Flossing is vital to make sure no food is lodged between the teeth. Proper flossing requires fine motor skills which most kids don’t develop before age six or seven. Parents need to assist with flossing until they are sure their child can do it effectively.
Until the child is old enough to properly brush his or her teeth, they should receive adult supervision and guidance. Instilling the proper brushing and flossing practices will reap lifelong benefits. While it may seem that supervising them is time consuming, remember that it results in a daily habit that will protect their health. Also, dental expenses related to poor oral hygiene will be avoided.
Your child’s first dental visit should be within six months of the first tooth appearing and no later than their first birthday. It may seem early, but just as your pediatrician sees your baby regularly to make sure their physical health is on track and counsel you about your vital role, you can rely on your dentist to look out for potential troubles and guide you about how to help your child maintain a healthy smile.
Seek your dentist’s counsel regarding pacifiers and sippy cups, nighttime bottles, and x-ray safety. Dentist can counsel parents with older children about sealants, tooth protection for athletics, and orthodontics.
If you live in the Cincinnati area and don’t yet have a trusted family dentist, call Endres Gateway Dentistry at 513-791-8880 to schedule your child’s dental appointment with Dr. Eleanor Endres. By starting young, your child will become familiar with our friendly staff, ensuring that they never develop a fear of the dentist. We also provide cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics, family dentistry, restorative dentistry and sedation dentistry.
Contact Endres Gateway Dentistry: 513-791-8880
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