According to national studies, one in four children will have at least one cavity before the age of 4. In order to help boost awareness of the importance of kid’s dental health, February was named National Children’s Dental Health Month. Don’t let your child’s mouth look this this image – this is Baby Bottle Mouth – from putting a child to bed with a bottle of milk. As you can see, there are many cavities in this little ones mouth. Education and getting their teeth checked are key.
To make sure kids have the healthiest teeth, bring them to the dentist 2 times per year then, have them brush and floss 2 times per day, for two whole minutes. To encourage brushing, try setting goals on a tooth brushing calendar. Reward them for achievements. You can have them brush along to a two minute song.
Before you baby’s teeth have come in. It is still important to keep their mouth and gums clean. Simply run a damp wash cloth gently over your baby’s gums daily to help clear away bacteria.
Once your child’s teeth start erupting, clean them daily with a soft toothbrush twice a day. There a quite a few options for tiny tooth brushes that are small enough for those tiny mouths. Use plain water for this. Little ones are not able to spit out toothpaste, so no need to use a fluoridated toothpaste until they are old enough to spit it out.
Be sure to take your child to the dentist for their first dental visit around the age of 2. Sometimes it is a quick ride in the chair and a look from the Dentist in their mouth. We do not expect them to sit perfectly still at this age, so we do what we can and this will help them not be scared in the future. A good idea is to bring the child to Mom or Dad’s cleaning appointment, so they meet our Hygienist and Dentist to desensitize the child.
Most kids can spit while brushing around the age of 2. At this point, they will be able to brush their own teeth with parents following up with the tooth brush. You can use fluoridated tooth paste, but only a pea size amount. Supervise them closely until at least age 6. Mom’s and Dad’s can help look for any remaining ” cookie bugs and cavity creeps” that the child may have missed and follow with a little more brushing.
Teaching good dental hygiene early on can set up your kids for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. This will save you time and money in the long run. Call our office at 920-733-2445 for an appointment for your little one to get their teeth cleaned and teeth checked.