To celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month, we’ll be brushing up on dental essentials for kids of all ages. Setting your kids up with positive routines can help protect their natural smile for years to come. Did you know oral care begins before your child’s first tooth appears? Read on to learn about healthy routines you can set together—and how to make them fun!
Oral care for infants should involve the use of a damp, clean cloth. Wiping down your infant’s gums after feedings (and making sure to take the bottle away) helps prevent common early-life issues such as baby bottle tooth decay. Your child’s first tooth is likely to emerge between six and twelve months of age, and this is the optimal time to schedule their first dental visit with a family practitioner. Light brushing can begin once the first tooth emerges, using a soft, infant-sized toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste, and water. Using a very small amount of toothpaste is the key to helping to keep your child from ingesting it.
By the age of three your child is likely to have a full mouth of baby teeth. Though this set will be replaced by larger, stronger adult teeth in time, this is a critical stage for establishing positive habits. Encouraging your kids to brush twice per day, as well as floss once per day, may be met with some resistance (though some kids love it!). Unenthusiastic children may be more willing to stick with it if you provide them with choices and fun perks during this activity. You can try purchasing multiple types of toothpaste to allow them options, time brushing with musical cues, or tell stories to make dental care time more fun.
At the age of 13 your child will have grown in almost all of their permanent teeth. With diligent care, your kids may be able to keep this set of natural teeth for the entirety of their lives. As a teen, your child may undergo corrective braces, and it is critical that they follow a care regimen to avoid developing white spots on their teeth. This is often the time in one’s life where we become conscious of our outward appearance, so you may want to remind your child that a clean and sparkling smile can make a big difference in how they feel about themselves.
Many adults struggle with the consequences of poor childhood oral care later in life. If you’re looking for cosmetic dentistry near Skokie, our staff can help talk you through your options for a total smile makeover. Reach out today!