An entire month to celebrate dental awareness? Yep, and it’s one of our favorites! Celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month this February with us as we promote healthy gums, teeth, and overall oral hygiene in children. Looking for ways to improve your child’s dental habits? Here’s what you need to keep your little one’s teeth clean and healthy.
Start Brushing. Bacteria and decay can begin as soon as baby teeth come in. Once they erupt, the American Dental Association says an early start is crucial. It is recommended to brush baby teeth twice daily, instead of waiting until children are older.
Use Fluoride. Toothpaste warning labels reading, “harmful if swallowed” can often scare parents from using products containing fluoride in children. However, it is encouraged to begin healthy habits and dental prevention at an early age. So how much is recommended? When you start brushing, smear only the tiniest amount of toothpaste on your child’s toothbrush, as it doesn’t take much. At 24 months, the amount can be increased to the size of a grain of rice. At three years of age and older, the amount should increase roughly to the size of a pea. If you are concerned about the amount or your child’s inability to spit, consult your pediatric dentist or pediatrician for more information.
Start Flossing. Once your child develops their baby teeth, it’s never too early to start flossing. Child-friendly flossing tools are available to help make cleaning easier until your little one learns how.
Drink Water. Water is excellent for overall wellness, especially in oral health. Drinking the appropriate amount of water containing fluoride per day can help protect little teeth from pesky cavities.
A Clean Mouth is a Happy Mouth. Keeping a pacifier in their mouth can almost seem like a full-time job, and the same goes for utensils. However, if you are picking these up and putting them in your mouth, then back in theirs thinking that it’s cleaner, think again. Doing so can introduce new germs and bacteria transmitted from your saliva.
Schedule the First Dental Visit. How soon should you schedule your baby’s first visit? This major milestone should take place soon after your baby’s first tooth and no later than their first birthday.
For more information regarding good dental habits in children and pediatric dentistry, give us a call today to schedule your baby’s first appointment.