Teeth need constant dental care at home and with regular checkups to keep a smile perfect.When it comes to taking care of your teeth, it takes two to tango. Your teeth need a combination of proper oral hygiene at home and regular dental checkups at least twice a year. Fortunately, the team at our dental…
Tips From a Pediatric Dentist on Cleaning Baby Teeth
Parental opinions may differ on the proper care of baby teeth, so keeping up to date with current pediatric dentist recommendations can help guide you toward the most successful results. Remembering a few helpful tips can mean the difference between your child keeping that mouth of healthy baby teeth until they are ready to be lost naturally and the early onset of poor dental hygiene and other dental health issues.
Tips for keeping baby teeth clean
As soon as a baby’s first tooth begins to emerge, healthy dental habits can be established. Pediatric dentists often provide the following advice for helping dental cleaning become routine for a small child.
1. Start early
A mouthful of teeth is not necessary to start the habit of keeping teeth clean. Pediatric-designed teething toys can set the stage for later brushing. Once the first tooth emerges, start out with a soft-bristled brush that has a small head designed for children so it will fit into hard-to-reach areas.
2. Lend a hand
Although eager brushers may want to take care of their teeth on their own, parents should assist until around school age. Until that age, it is difficult for children to clean all areas thoroughly enough to prevent cavities. Some parents choose to let their children brush first, then follow behind them to make sure no areas are missed. During this time, it is important to model correct brushing techniques to cover all areas of the mouth.
3. Establish healthy habits
In addition to daily brushing, children can learn to floss from an early age. Although they will need help from an adult for the most thorough result, products like flossing sticks can be user-friendly for young brushers. Other healthy habits include keeping a diet that is lower in sugar and drinking water regularly after meals to flush food particles from the mouth. Aim for morning and nighttime brushing rituals.
4. Choose the right toothpaste
When a child is learning how to brush their teeth, it is normal to swallow toothpaste instead of spitting it out. Once the child is old enough to understand how to spit toothpaste into the sink, the recommendation is to switch to a toothpaste that contains fluoride for teeth protection.
5. Visit a pediatric dentist
It is a misconception that baby teeth do not matter since they will be lost and replaced by permanent ones. Damaged or decayed baby teeth can lead to issues with the gums, sinuses or roots and can cause damage to permanent teeth below the surface. Children can and should visit a dentist at a young age to head off future problems. Early visits can normalize the experience and make fear of the dentist much less likely.
The cleaning of baby teeth is an important part of the dental health of a child. Beginning as soon as the first tooth erupts, setting up a routine of teeth care that includes regular visits to a pediatric dentist can set a child up for a lifetime of good dental hygiene habits.
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