Providing your child with a lifetime of smiles
Children's Dental Care
Establishing a dental care routine at a young age can make the world of difference for your child's oral health.
Sadly, we see many parents overlook this vital step of oral health with the mindset that they will fall out later anyway.
Learn how to properly care for your child's oral health below.
While your baby's teeth will eventually be replaced with adult teeth, it's still important to create and maintain a daily oral health routine. That's because how you care for their teeth as an infant, toddler and young adult can greatly impact the way their permanent adult teeth come in.
Oral Care for your infant child
The best advice we can give to parents is to avoid putting your infant to bed with a bottle, pacifier or while breastfeeding. That's because milk, formula, juice and other liquids have sugars in them that can create cavity causing bacteria to grow in your child's mouth. As many of us here at the No Fear are parents ourselves, we know that parenting can be exhausting and on some nights you have to let your baby have what they want. If you're having one of those sleepless nights, we recommend that you try your best to wipe your infants teeth or gums with a damp washcloth as soon as they are done feeding and back to bed.
First Baby Teeth
Baby teeth normally come in around 6 months old, usually starting with the bottom front teeth. Do not be alarmed if your child's teeth haven’t erupted by this age as every child is different.
Here's a helpful graphic from the American Dental Association.
Cleaning Your Child’s Teeth
Once your baby's teeth begin to emerge, regular cleaning is important. After feedings, wipe your baby’s gums
with a clean, wet washcloth to remove sugar residue left by breastmilk and formula.
By the time your child is 1.5 to 2 years old their first molar usually comes in. Once that happens, it's best start a habit of brushing twice a day. There's online phone apps, decorated toothbrushes and many other techniques you can use to get your child to enjoy brushing.
When brushing be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush that's designed for babies and only use water or a small amount of toothpaste that doesn't contain any fluoride. It's important to use fluoride-free toothpaste as you don't want your child to swallow it.
If your child is fussy when it comes to brushing you're not alone. It is normal for children to fuss while building a good brushing routine. The best thing is to be calm and methodical while continuing to give proper care and support to your child’s oral health. With time, they will appreciate your gentle attention and eventually enjoy brushing.
Should I be flossing for them?
You'll want to begin flossing once the teeth begin to touch one another. This will help prevent cavities between the teeth. Since flossing can be a difficult skill to learn you may need to help floss until your child is able to do it by themselves. You should supervise brushing and flossing until the child is at least 8 years old to help maintain proper oral care.
You Child’s First Dental Visit - Free under Three
Both the American Dental Association and the American Medical Association recommend that a child’s
first visit to the dentist should occur by their first birthday. Although this seems early, it is the best time
to begin preventative dental care appointments. This not only helps monitor their development but gets them
comfortable with the dentist and provides important tips for parents. During their visit, your child's dental team will take the time to go over things such as tooth development, cavity prevention, age appropriate toothbrushes, cleaning techniques and more. If you have any questions, please ask!
Cavities in Kids
If you followed the steps above and are adamant about your child's brushing habits you are more likely not to see cavities. However nothing is guaranteed to stop the cavity causing bacteria and unfortunately, some are more prone to cavities than others.
If you're child is diagnosed with a cavity it can be a very nervous and frightful experience. They should be talked to gently and educated as to what a cavity is in easy terms. You can leave that up to you as the parent or ask a dentist for help. Either way, it's important to remain calm and reassure your child that you are there for them.