Instilling proper dental habits in your children early on can help make it easier for them to care for their teeth lifelong. Good practices can’t start too soon! You can use gauze to wipe baby’s gums and clean any plaque from newly sprouting teeth. Use a soft toothbrush to clean teeth when they are fully erupted. And flossing? Kids don’t get a free pass! You can start the habit of flossing once your child has all his or her primary teeth, generally by age two. It’s also during this time that you should take your child for their first dental visit. Ask your dentist and doctor about fluoride rinses or toothpastes, as they can prevent tooth decay. But here’s what’s most important about that first visit: make it fun, comfortable, and easy. Now is the time to dispel any fears about the dentist! Creating fond memories from these early visits can ensure that your child doesn’t come to fear the dentist.
When your child begins to develop permanent teeth, consider sealants. Sealants in molars can keep cavities from forming in these chewing-heavy areas. It protects the enamel and keeps away tooth decay-causing bacteria.
If your child begins to play sports, don’t forget about protecting their teeth too! Mouth guards are essential for high-activity sports like football. They can prevent broken teeth, broken jaws, saving you a lot of difficulty and money. You can get a custom-designed mouth guard to make sure your child’s teeth and jaw are fully protected from any sports-related collisions!
In general, make sure your kids are involved with taking care of their teeth—make brushing teeth a fun activity that you do together as a family. Develop a relationship with your dental care team, so that your child trusts and feels comfortable in the dentist’s chair. Healthy habits start young!
Your baby is growing up, and so are their teeth! According to the American Dental Association most babies develop their first tooth around six months of age. After that first eruption your baby will have a full set of primary teeth in three years.
Although it is usually pretty easy to spot teething, we created a list of some common signs of teething. If your baby exhibits any of these signs along with irritability and excessive drooling, then get out your teething tools and even ask your dentist or doctor about what you can do to help your teething toddler.
Is your little one not falling asleep as easily as they used to? If so, teething could be the problem. As the teeth begin to come in your child will experience pain, which makes it more difficult for them to fall asleep and stay asleep. Teething toddlers will wake up more often due to the gum discomfort and pain that they feel.
Excessive biting or gnawing
If your tiny tyke can’t seem to keep things out of their mouth, then they could be developing teeth. Oftentimes babies bite and gnaw on things to help relieve the pressure from their gums. Instead of hiding every toy, try a teething ring to keep your toddler happy.
Rubbing of ears or cheeks
If your child is pulling at their ear or cheek, it could mean a couple of different things. It could be a sign of an ear infection, or it could mean teething. When teeth erupt they can cause pain that spreads across the cheeks and ears. If this happens, a trip to the doctor may be needed to rule out an ear infection.
Loss of appetite
When teething begins, a child experiences sore and tender gums. The pain that they feel typically makes them refuse food. Try softer foods to help your baby get nutrients while their teeth transition in.
Make sure to take good care of your child’s teeth and mouth even before the eruption of the first tooth. After teeth begin to develop, make sure to schedule a dentist’s appointment to make sure that everything is going well in your child’s mouth.
For many adults, the dentist can be a scary experience, so we understand that you may have some reservations about bringing your baby to the dentist. We’re here to help! It probably sounds like a lot to tackle, but if you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll have no problem transitioning your child into a good oral health routine.
1. Prepare Accordingly
Your child should be making their first dental visit before their first birthday. The general rule that most dentists follow is that the child should start seeing a dentist regularly six months after the eruption of the first tooth. When your child’s first tooth comes in, make an appointment with the dentist to discuss what their first visit will be like, so that you can do your best explain to the child beforehand what will happen.
2. Plan Ahead
We all know that our kid can have those days; the ones filled with tantrums, screaming, and general grumpiness. Plan ahead for that, and be willing to reschedule if you think it may not be a great day for baby’s first visit. Alternatively, if your child is compliant, then be ready to go through the process with them. It may be easiest to schedule an appointment in the morning when your child is most alert.
3. Be Patient
If your child is under 36 months, for their first visit you will sit in the dental chair and the child will sit in your lap, as it will make the trip easier for them. If your child feels comfortable doing the exam, expect it to last between 15 to 30 minutes. The dentist will do a thorough examination of the teeth, gums, jaw, and bite as well as do a gentle cleaning, conduct x- rays, and show them how to clean properly at home. It may be a little awkward and uncomfortable for baby at first, so be sure to be patient with them and ready to provide any reassurance the child may need.
The dentist wants nothing more than to make your child’s first visit as easy and comfortable as possible, and so do you! With proper planning and cooperation, your child will be well on their way to a lifetime of good oral health.