It’s important that you know exactly how to care for your child’s smile to prevent decay and gum disease.
Many parents think that since a child ends up losing all their baby teeth anyway that they don’t need to actually worry about their little one’s oral health, but this is a serious mistake. In fact, you should be caring for your child’s smile as soon as possible. Even before their teeth come in you can still clean and wipe their gums to prevent gum disease and other issues from happening to their smile. Find out more about your child’s developing smile and how to properly care for it.
Making sure you start your child’s oral health out on the right foot is key to making sure they maintain a healthy smile for many decades to come. While primary teeth are present when your little one is born these teeth won’t actually emerge until around 6 months. Once these teeth start to erupt it’s time to visit a pediatric dentist for regular checkups. During these checkups, your dentist can examine your child’s smile to treat issues, keep your child’s smile free of plaque and tartar buildup and offer a variety of different preventive care to protect your child’s smile from decay or gum disease.
Even if your child’s teeth haven’t come in around the 6-month marker your child should start seeing the dentist no later than their first birthday. Of course, there are habits you should start to instill in your little one to keep their smile healthy.
As we mentioned earlier, after you feed your little one, always gently wipe their gums with a moist washcloth. Once teeth start to erupt decay can happen. And until your child is old enough to take over brushing and flossing on their own, you will want to take on these duties yourself.
You should brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a child’s toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste (Check for ADA-approved dental products). Once two teeth erupt next to each other then you should begin flossing their teeth. For children under 3 years of age, you should use no more than a smearing of toothpaste that is no bigger than a grain of rice. Once your child is between the ages of 3 and 6 years old, they should use a pea-sized dollop of fluoride toothpaste.
If you have any questions about how to care for your child’s growing smile then you should turn to your child’s dentist, who can answer all of your questions and provide you with the very best care your little one deserves for a beautiful smile.