The holidays are in full swing around at Dr. Gabhart’s, where we are creating beautiful smiles for all of those holiday photo ops. This Christmas, is all your child wants his or her two front teeth?
We’ve rounded up some important ways you can take care of your child’s teeth, from infancy on through childhood.
As your baby is teething, you can already start taking care of his or her gums. It’s important to avoid “baby bottle decay,” a phenomenon that happens when sugary liquids, like breastmilk or formula, remain in your baby’s mouth for long periods of time and cause early cavities. To do so, you can make sure to wipe your baby’s gums after feeding, and make sure they do not fall asleep with a bottle.
Your child’s baby teeth are just as important as your adult ones. When they begin teething, normally around the age of 4-6 months, the best way to care for the baby teeth is by brushing them twice daily using a soft-bristled brush and water.
Six months after that first tooth emerges (or, at the latest, your baby’s first birthday), you can schedule your baby’s first dental checkup. The dentist will examine for any abnormalities and advise you on the best care for your child moving forward.
After this first visit, the dentist will recommend that your child be schedule for regular dental visits every six months. Most dentists begin the series of cleanings with simply counting and polishing teeth, and build onto the routine as the toddler grows more independent. By age 5, your child, with a full smile of baby teeth, will be ready for dental X-rays.
Around the age of 6, your child may experience their first loose tooth. Allow them to wiggle their loose teeth until the teeth fall out on their own. If you need advice about a particularly stubborn tooth, contact your dentist.
As a parent, you can help your child practice oral hygiene from a very early age, preparing them for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Parents are recommended to help teeth their children how to brush and floss, as well as let them observe your own oral hygiene habits on a daily basis. Remember, monkey see, monkey do!