You want to ensure your child has good oral hygiene. How early should you start dental care? Sooner than you think. About 42 percent of children in the United States age 2-11 have already experienced tooth decay. But you can help your young child avoid early cavities.
Dr. Jeffrey Barrera and Dr. Jane Cho at Sendero Dental Studio in Ladera Ranch, California, are your professional partners in your child’s dental health. They’re ready to coach you in what you need to do for your child’s oral hygiene before they can brush and floss on their own. Follow these steps to ensure your child has healthy teeth for a lifetime.
1. Good oral hygiene begins in infancy
Your sweet baby has a smile that’s all gums, but there are 20 teeth hidden behind them. Before these teeth come in, you should start wiping your baby’s gums with a soft, clean cloth after they eat and before bed. As soon as you can see their teeth coming through, you can add tiny amounts of toothpaste and brush with a child-sized toothbrush.
2. Start dental visits
You might think you don’t need to start dental appointments for your child until they have all of their teeth. On the contrary, you should schedule the first appointment before or by the time your child is one year old, according to the American Dental Association. At your child’s appointment, we check for growth or development abnormalities as well as decay.
To help your young child have a positive experience at the dentist’s office, follow these steps:
- Schedule your appointment when your child is rested
- Tell your child in advance about the appointment
- Sing fun, silly songs to avoid anxiety
- Act matter-of-fact about the appointment
3. Check on fluoride
Fluoride is a mineral that helps build strong teeth and make them more resistant to decay. Ask your dentist at Sendero Dental Studio if your community adds fluoride to your tap water. Your dental professional can provide fluoride treatments for your child when necessary.
4. Help your child develop good oral hygiene practices
Help your child develop a daily oral hygiene routine. Your child’s dentist can recommend the perfect size toothbrush and the amount of toothpaste needed based on your child’s age. They can also help teach the proper techniques to ensure your child learns how to maintain clean and healthy teeth and gums from the earliest age possible.
5. Limit sugars in your child’s diet
Sugar promotes bacteria that destroys tooth enamel. It’s in juice as well as sweet snacks; that’s why the amount of juice in children’s diets should be limited. Never place sugar on the end of your child’s pacifier.
Call our office or request an appointment online today to start your child on a lifetime of good dental health.