Getting your kids to the dentist can be like pulling teeth. Practicing good dental habits at an early age is critical in ensuring that your child grows up to have healthy gums and teeth. Those 20 primary teeth (baby teeth) need proper attention and care because their health impacts the development of their future smiles. Learn the best ways to take care of your child’s teeth as they grow.
How To Care For Your Baby’s Teeth
Because newborns don’t have teeth, you may not consider the ways in which their oral hygiene affects their health. Prevent your little one from cavities and Baby Bottle Tooth Decay by practicing oral care right away.
Begin by wiping their mouth with a clean gauze pad or cloth to remove plaque that can harm emerging teeth. As soon as their teeth begin to come in, brush them gently with a child’s size toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. Don’t give your infant sodas or sugary juices opt for formula and milk instead. Make sure that they finish their bottle prior to naptime and bedtime so that you can brush their teeth before they fall asleep.
If you must put your infant to bed with a bottle, fill it with water when it is safe to do so.
How To Care For Your Toddler’s Teeth
Toddler age is usually a great time to begin teaching your child how to brush their own teeth. Developing healthy brushing and flossing habits early is important in ensuring that they maintain good oral care throughout their lives. Let your child imitate the way you brush your teeth and explain to them the importance of keeping teeth healthy. Provide additional help to remove food particles and plaque that they may have missed.
If your child still sucks on his or her thumb or uses a pacifier when permanent teeth begin to grow, you should take action. Limit the pacifier use and, eventually, take it away completely. Talk to your child’s dentist or doctor about ways to limit the thumb sucking–they may recommend certain courses of action..
How To Prevent Your Child From Getting Cavities
There are many ways to prevent your child from developing tooth decay:
- Limit the amount of candy, sweets, and other sugary foods that your child eats.
- Brush their teeth or teach them to brush their teeth after meals, at least twice per day.
- Opt for sugar-free cough syrups and medications as opposed to their cavity-causing counterparts.
- Choose healthy meal options at home. Always include calcium-rich foods like milk and broccoli.
- Stay away from soda, juice, and other sugary drinks.
- Visit the dentist before your child’s first birthday, and then regularly throughout childhood.
What To Do If Your Child Has A Dental Emergency
Accidents happen. Whether your child gets hurt on the playground or eats too many sweets, there are always steps to take to ensure that they remain healthy. Knowing the proper ways to handle dental emergencies can be the difference between losing and saving a permanent tooth.
Here are the ways to approach common childhood dental emergencies:
- Knocked-out tooth – Keep the knocked-out tooth moist at all times. If possible, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. Otherwise, place it between your child’s gum and cheek or in a cup of milk. Most importantly, call your child’s dentist right away. Immediate action is required in order to save the tooth.
- Cracked tooth – Immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Place a cold compress on the face to minimize swelling and pain. Make an appointment with your child’s dentist.
- Toothache – Clean out the mouth by rinsing it with warm water. Use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. If the pain persists, make an appointment with your child’s dentist for a check up.
- Injured cheek or lip – If your child’s cheek or lip is bleeding due to an injury or accidental bite, apply firm, direct pressure to the area with a clean cloth. In the case of swelling, place ice on the affected area. If the bleeding does not stop, take your child to the Emergency Room immediately.
- Dental concussion – Typically occurring in toddlers and young children, a dental concussion is characterized as a tooth that has not been dislodged or fractured, but has received a bang or a knock. Unless the affected tooth becomes dark or discolored, dental concussion does not require emergency treatment.
- Fractured jaw – If your child has a fractured jaw, it is best to head to the Emergency Room. Encourage them to move their jaw as little as possible. The Emergency Room doctors will help determine whether or not further dental treatment is required.
Bring the Family In!
As a parent concerned for your child’s health, it is important that you do not forget about their mouth. Their dental health impacts the health and well-being of their entire body, and instilling good habits at a young age will have a positive impact on their future oral care. Make an appointment with our office today to get started on a lifetime of healthy habits!