Parents, helping your children develop good dental care habits now can lead to a lifetime of healthy smiles!
When should you start brushing your child's teeth?
Your child's teeth are at risk of decay as soon as they appear. It is important to start brushing your child's teeth as soon as you see their first tooth. When should you bring your child in for their first dental appointment?
Your child's first dental appointment should be at one year old, or after their first tooth comes in. The first visit will allow the dentist to catch problems such as decay or developmental issues. The first appointment will also help develop a positive dental visit experience to prevent fear in the future. How can you make dental care fun for your child at home?
There are many ways to help make your child's home dental care routine fun. We suggest letting your child pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste flavor. This will get them exited to pick their favorite color, or toothbrush with their favorite character on it, and favorite flavor of yummy toothpaste. It will help them look forward to brushing their teeth. We also suggest turning brushing and flossing into a fun game to "fight off the bad guys", like plaque! Another suggestion we have is to play a two minute song for your child to listen to while brushing. When first teaching your child how to brush correctly, brush their teeth for them for two minutes, then hand them the toothbrush to let them practice and show you how they can brush their teeth. When they brush their teeth, show them how happy and proud of them you are!
The following are key preventive measures to preserve oral health through childhood:
- Fluoride Treatments
Fluoride treatments strengthen tooth enamel and help resist decay. This may include fluoride supplements in areas where drinking water is not optimally fluoridated. Be sure to ask your dentist about supplements to determine if they are needed.
- Dental Sealants
Dental sealants provide a further layer of protection against cavities. Sealants are made of plastic and are bonded to the teeth by the dental team.
- Routine Checkups
The American Dental Association recommends regular six month hygiene visits to maintain the optimal dental health your child deserves.
Tips to help ensure oral health and a lifetime of good oral care habits:
- Limit your child's sugar intake
- Make sure your child gets enough fluoride, either through drinking water or as a treatment at the dentist office
- Teach your child how to brush and floss correctly
- Supervise brushing sessions and help with flossing, which can be a challenge for small hands
If you are ready to bring your child in for their first dental appointment, or if they haven't been to the dentist in the past six months, call us today and schedule their appointment. We would love to see them in our office! The staff at Oak Ridge Dental Arts are very child friendly, gentle and dedicated to providing a fun, positive dental experience for your child.