Oral health is an important part of caring for the overall health of your child. Our Surrey dentists are here to offer some advice on how to keep your child's smile healthy for life.
Dental care from the beginning of your child's life can help them develop good oral health care habits that will follow them for life. We will discuss the significance of baby teeth and how you can assist your child in maintaining a healthy smile immediately.
The Importance of Baby Teeth
Because the baby teeth fall out in order to make room for the permanent adult teeth you may be thinking that they are less important, but this is not the case. Around six months, the first baby teeth, typically the bottom front teeth, begin to erupt. Your child should have ten upper teeth, ten lower teeth, and the last baby teeth in the back of the mouth and upper jaw by the age of three.
Baby teeth are a crucial part of your child's life and health as they are growing. They are for talking, eating, and brightening up the room with a smile. Baby teeth in a child's mouth also serve as placeholders for adult teeth in the jaws.
Around age 6, your child should begin to lose their first baby tooth and adult teeth will start to emerge. The timing of this tooth loss is critical. If your child loses a baby tooth too early, contact your child's dentist about how the correct space can be kept in the mouth so the adult teeth will erupt normally.
How To Properly Care For Baby Teeth and Gums
Setting your child up for a lifetime or healthy habits starts when they are young, this is the time to teach them proper brushing and oral health care. By combining at-home care with regular dental visits, you can help keep your child's smile healthy.
Prevent cavities by brushing twice daily
To keep your infant's mouth clean, wipe it with a wet pad or cloth. For children under the age of three, use an ultra-soft toothbrush and a grain of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. Greater than three-year-olds should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
Once your child can spit out all of the toothpaste after brushing, switch to fluoridated toothpaste (ask your dentist before switching). Brush your child's teeth together until every tooth is clean.
Routine visits to the dentist for oral health care
Before their child's first birthday, parents should schedule their first dental examination. The first baby tooth should have emerged by now. We will demonstrate how to care for your child's teeth at home, examine his or her mouth for plaque and cavities, and inform you when your child's next tooth is due to erupt. Every six months, children should visit the dentist for a professional examination and cleaning.
Avoiding sugary foods and drinks
The high acidity and sugar content of soda and fruit juice can harm your child's baby teeth. Avoid candy and other sweets because they erode tooth enamel and increase your child's risk of developing cavities.
Dental sealants can help protect your child's teeth
Sealants are special coatings that are applied to the grooves and pits of a child's molars (back teeth). These prevent tooth decay on the biting surfaces of teeth. Your dentist may recommend sealants if your child is at high risk for developing cavities.
Flouride treatments can offer an extra layer of protection
Fluoride is a proactive measure to help protect your child's teeth from cavities.
Regular flossing to remove debris between teeth
Once all the baby teeth have erupted, start flossing. There are special flossers for kids.
This is general advice. Certain children may have special circumstances and may need to see the dentist more often for checkups or cleanings.