Many parents overlook proper care of their toddler or infant’s teeth. They are very aware that the teeth are there, as going through the teething process is an unforgettable experience. They are just not aware of how to properly care for them. Baby teeth are important, because they set the stage for permanent teeth that are already developing underneath the gums.
As soon as a baby gets teeth they should be brushed twice a day. Using a baby toothpaste or gum cleanser is optional, but the water from the faucet is sufficient. City water already has an appropriate amount of fluoride in it. Do not use an adult toothpaste that contains fluoride. Babies are unable to rinse and spit out all of the toothpaste that goes into their mouth. Too much fluoride can be harmful to their small bodies.
Watch your child’s drinking habits. After a year old the child should only have water between meals. Milk and juice are okay with meals, but shouldn’t be offered throughout the day. Small children should not be drinking soda or sweet tea. This is very harmful to the developing teeth.
Toddlers should not be given gummy fruit snacks. They should also not be given too many crackers, goldfish, or cookie type snacks. These break down into sugars in the mouth and also negatively affect tooth development. Sticking to good healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables is not only better for your baby’s overall health, but their teeth as well!
Consider taking your child to a pediatric dentist instead of just a regular family dentist. Pediatric dentist have extra training in dealing with children’s teeth. They also usually have fun offices that make it exciting for kids to go to the dentist. The waiting rooms may be filled with toys and the procedure rooms may have televisions in the ceiling and other neat surprises. It’s always nice for your children to be dealt with by professionals who know how to relate to little ones.
Your child should have his or her first dental visit by the age of one. The visit will consist of a question and answer time, some basic instructions, and a lap-to-lap exam where you hold the child in your lap and lay his or her head back into the dentist’s lap. The dentist will quickly evaluate the teeth and may paint a bit of fluoride on the surface.
Taking proper care of your child’s teeth from the beginning will keep them healthy for years to come, and will teach your child good habits when it comes to taking care of their own teeth.