As a parent, you probably want your child to have a healthy, beautiful smile. However, some of the information that we learned as kids about oral hygiene are outdated. Advances in dentistry mean that we always are learning new ways to prevent cavities and other oral health concerns. Parents often are surprised to learn about the newest advice from the American Dental Association that children now should visit the dentist by the time they reach their first birthday or when their first tooth erupts. Family dentists in Boaz at Wall Street Dentistry want to provide parents with answers to questions that many parents often ask us regarding their children’s dental health.
Q: Should I clean my baby’s teeth?
Yes! While people usually don’t think much about cleaning their baby’s teeth, this is actually important for their oral health and overall health. For infants, you can gently clean their gums using a warm baby washcloth to wipe clean after each feeding. By the time your child’s baby teeth erupt, use a toddler-sized toothbrush to clean their teeth. While fluoridated toothpaste generally is a good idea for children, you may want to use fluoride-free at first, until your child understands not to swallow the toothpaste.
Q: Should I worry if my child loses a baby tooth too early?
Baby teeth are there for a purpose. They help your child articulate as they learn to speak. They also aid in digestion as they eat. If your child loses a baby tooth too early, this could be an issue. Losing a tooth too early could result in your child being unable to articulate their words, which could lead to a speech impediment. Also, it could mean they aren’t able to chew nutritious food very well. If your child loses a baby tooth too early, be sure to take them in to see the dentist. A space maintainer may be needed.
Q: My child never gets cavities, do they really need to go to the dentist regularly?
Actually, yes, they still need to visit the dentist regularly. Six-month dental visits are preventive efforts to help reduce your child’s chance of developing tooth decay. Skipping those six-month cleanings means that tartar buildup remains on your child’s teeth, and they are more likely to get cavities. Plus, it allows the dentist a chance to discover any potential problems that may arise that could cause extensive damage to your child’s oral health or development.
Q: My child brushes twice a day, why are they getting cavities?
Dental hygiene, like brushing and flossing daily is an essential part of maintaining good oral health, but if your child still gets cavities, look at what is on their plate. Diet actually has a lot to do with cavities and dental health. Eating too much sugar, sipping on juice, and eating carb-loaded snacks like crackers and chips are more likely to cause cavities. Sugar erodes dental enamel, and those salty, carb-loaded snacks that kids love actually sticks to their teeth, causing cavities, especially if they aren’t brushing regularly as they should.
Kid’s Dentist in Boaz
We hope that all parents encourage their children to practice good oral hygiene habits and that they themselves model this good behavior. If you would like to learn more about our program for pediatric dentistry or to schedule an appointment, just call Wall Street Dentistry at (256) 878-0525. We welcome patients of Albertville, Boaz, and Guntersville, Alabama.