Your child begins to get teeth during the first few months of their life. As they grow, you’ll learn to care for the incoming teeth and their dental hygiene. Just when you get used to the routine, their teeth will start to fall out, around 6-7 years.
Even baby teeth need proper dental care. Dental problems don’t go away when baby teeth fall out, so it’s important to learn how to care for your child’s teeth at the beginning.
We’ve put together some tips about when to start and what to know about pediatric dentistry below. Take a look!
When to Start
Caring for children’s teeth and gums start early. In fact, as soon as their first tooth comes in, you should begin caring for their oral hygiene.
You can begin brushing their one tooth as soon as they have it. This will help your child get used to how a toothbrush feels in their mouth and used to the routine of brushing after breakfast and before bedtime.
Choose a fun soft bristle toothbrush that fits their mouth to help make it an enjoyable activity for them. You can involve your child by taking them to the store to help pick out their toothbrush with a favorite character on it. Be sure to replace your child’s toothbrush every 3 months to prevent bacteria buildup.
Children’s dentistry is an important part of their oral hygiene as well. You can schedule your infant or toddler’s first dental appointment as early as 12 months of age.
At their first appointment, our dentist will examine your child’s existing teeth and help you understand how to care for their oral health. Dr. Moulton is focused on family care, and he has a family of his own. Even the smallest patients are important.
Getting Started with Pediatric Dentistry
After their first appointment, you may wonder when you would need to return with your child. How often children should visit a pediatric dentist is a question in many parents’ minds, but the answer is the same as for adult patients.
You should schedule a dentist visit for your child every 6 months to monitor their oral health and catch any possible problems as early as possible. Having the help of a dental professional can help you navigate the ins and outs of your children cutting teeth, losing teeth, and keeping teeth healthy. They can tell you what signs and symptoms to watch out for, like those below.
Signs of a Problem
Being involved in your child’s dental care is one of the best ways for you to detect possible issues. Help them brush and floss, and watch carefully as they practice on their own. Here are some of the signs and symptoms that there may be a dental problem.
Look for alignment issues with their teeth, along with white or brown spots on their teeth.
It’s a red flag if you have any indications of pain associated with their teeth. Check for sensitivity to hot or cold and irritated gums. Swelling can show you where potential pain spots might be.
If you detect one of the problems above, or another one that you’re worried about it, reach out to us. We can help you schedule an appointment with the dentist to examine the child’s teeth and recommend treatment.
In the event that your child needs fillings, there are tooth-colored options so they are less noticeable. They’re also less invasive than people think, and they provide a long-lasting solution.
Best Ways to Care for Teeth and Gums
What can you do at home to care for your child’s oral health? In between dental visits, there are plenty of steps you can take to take care of their teeth and gums.
One of the best ways to care for your child’s teeth and gums is to limit their sugar intake. This can be in the form of candy and sweet treats, as well as drinks like juice or soft drinks. Even electrolyte drinks can have lots of sugar in them, which isn’t good for infants’ and toddlers’ teeth.
Another step to take is making dental care a priority. Children who start early at the dentist will learn that this is a regular part of their routine and that the dentist isn’t scary. They won’t mind being a patient when they become a patient at a young age.
Help them with their brushing. Set a timer for them so they know when they have brushed for long enough. Watch closely to make sure they are getting all the corners.
Go over their teeth a second time if necessary. You can brush their teeth for them after they’ve had a chance to try, so they still feel involved but you’re sure they’re clean. This is an important step for preventing periodontal disease.
Teach them to floss early. Even if the gaps between their teeth haven’t closed yet, you can still help them learn to floss. Show them the right way, and demonstrate with your own teeth.
If flossing is part of their tooth care routine and they have the skills to do it, it will be easy to incorporate as their gaps shrink and flossing becomes vital to their oral health.
Dr. Moulton’s expertise will help if your child encounters other dental problems, too. Sometimes there can be genetic issues or oral conditions associated with other health problems. Sometimes children have accidents, and you may have a dental emergency.
Because of his experience, Dr. Moulton can work with you and your child to have a great dental visit. Children aren’t always capable of sitting still or being patient through an exam. This is why our team has an office designed with children in mind, and special tools to help them get through their appointment.
It’s our goal at Lexington Family Smiles to help you experience a different kind of dentistry. We want to provide individual care and support as you seek pediatric dentistry for your children.
Reach out with any questions you have about the care we provide or request an appointment today.