Did you know that dental hygiene can start before babies even have teeth? There are many benefits to starting young when it comes to teeth and gum health. Not only does good gum health begin in infancy, but early dental hygiene teaches kids to pay attention to their teeth. Around your child’s first birthday, it’s also time to see a pediatric dentist in Maryland Heights for an exam and teeth cleaning.
Here’s how to get your kids off to a great start with teeth brushing.
Find the Right Toothpaste
The ADA recommends a fluoride toothpaste plus using an alcohol-free rinse containing .05 sodium fluoride. Some children don’t like the taste of mint, so find a flavor they like (or one with no flavor at all).
Use a Child’s Toothbrush
Starting when your child’s first teeth erupt, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to brush their teeth for them. Kids can usually start brushing their own teeth when they’re about eight years old. A child’s toothbrush needs to reach extra-small crevices, and be sure to replace the toothbrush after three months. Letting them pick it out can be an added incentive to brush their teeth!
Set a Timer
Many children love using a fun tooth brushing timer or even your phone’s timer. Start with just a few seconds and work up to two minutes.
Try Bath Time Teeth Brushing
Equipped with a cup to hold for spitting and toys, kids may be just distracted enough at bath time to make teeth brushing easy.
What about Infants?
Even babies are at risk for tooth decay. If frequently left with a bottle of milk or juice overnight, sugar in the liquid sticks to gums and baby teeth. If teeth aren’t cleaned after feeding, bacteria produce acids that attack enamel. To prevent early tooth decay, gently rub your baby’s teeth and gums between feedings with a soft washcloth.
Ready to take your child to a pediatric dentist in Bridgeton near Maryland Heights, MO? Call our office today to schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Kevin Burgdorf.