Many parents assume that dental care is not needed for their child until he or she is of school age, or unless a problem arises. This ideology is incorrect. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends that children begin going to the dentist for routine checkups and dental cleanings as soon as their first tooth erupts, or by their first birthday. So, if you have a teething baby, here is what you need to know about their oral care needs.
To help establish healthy oral hygiene for your child, begin teaching him or her good habits early in life, beginning during infancy. Baby teeth start to emerge around 3 to 6 months of age, can be later for some babies, but at-home oral care should begin even before that! Here are some oral care tips that you can implement into your child’s daily routine.
Even before any baby teeth erupt, always clean your baby’s gums after each feeding by using a soft, moist cloth to wipe their gums gently. Once your baby’s first tooth erupts, use an age appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste to brush your child’s tooth (or teeth). Also, avoid letting your baby go to sleep with a bottle that has juice or milk in it. Instead, fill the bottle with water if your baby must go to sleep with a bottle.
Your child should have his or her first dental check-up no later than age 1. During these visits, the dentist can assess your child’s oral health and address any concerns with your child’s development. The dentist will also document any changes in your child’s oral health that can be monitored over time. Beginning these visits early in life will help lessen the likeliness that your child will develop a fear of the dentist.
Setting an example is also an ideal way to encourage good oral hygiene habits with your child. Make oral care a group effort by everyone brushing his or her teeth together at night before bed. If morning routines are too busy to do this, but choose a time that works well for your family. Encourage your child to consume a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, limiting sugar intake, especially juices.
At Wall Street Dentistry, we can treat patients of all ages. For more information about oral care or to schedule an appointment, contact our office at (256) 878-0525 today.
Wall Street Dentistry provides total oral health care for patients in Albertville, Boaz, and Guntersville, Alabama.