One of the most common chronic conditions among children in the U.S. is cavities. They can cause pain and infections if left untreated, leading to speaking, eating, learning, and playing problems. The good news is that cavities and many other dental problems are preventable.
Pediatric dentists specialize in children's dental care from infancy through teen years. Kids require specific forms of oral care as they age and grow. Parents must ensure proper dental hygiene habits at each developmental stage to keep their children's teeth beautiful and healthy.
Healthcare professionals recommend breast milk or formula until children are about six months old. After this period, you can start feeding your little one baby food. Before the first tooth appears, you should wipe your baby's gums with a clean, soft cloth after feeding.
Most children get their first tooth between 6 and 12 months. When this happens, schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist. You can also start brushing your child's teeth at least twice daily as they grow using a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste.
Children usually get all their baby teeth during their early toddlerhood. So, you should continue brushing your child's teeth with toothpaste and feed them a tooth-healthy diet. Brush at least twice daily using a child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush, and avoid candy.
Allow your child to brush their teeth for about two minutes, then take the brush and finish the brushing to ensure proper scrubbing of every tooth. Keep scheduling pediatric dental cleanings and exams every six months to prevent cavities and tooth decay.
Keep brushing your little one's teeth twice a day for at least two minutes and start flossing once your child has all their teeth. Dentists recommend brushing children's teeth until around the age of six.
Once they start brushing their teeth, parents should supervise them to ensure they are doing a good job. Continue scheduling dental exams and cleanings every six months and maintain good oral hygiene habits and a healthy diet to prevent dental problems.
Children start losing their baby teeth during this period, and their adult teeth will begin to emerge. You should schedule an orthodontic exam for your child around age seven to ensure their mouth is developing correctly. Kids can brush their teeth by now, but parents should check in occasionally to ensure they are doing a good job. Regular pediatric dental exams are still necessary.
By age 13, most kids have all their adult teeth. However, they may develop unhealthy habits like poor oral hygiene, a sugar-rich diet, or smoking. You should discourage such habits and schedule regular dental exams to ensure your child's mouth stays healthy.
The need for proper oral hygiene and care spans a lifetime. According to dental care professionals, it begins with a mother's oral hygiene during pregnancy. Good dental care leads to a healthier and happier life.
For more on pediatric dental care, visit Fort Worth Children's Dentistry at our Fort Worth, Texas office. Call 817-646-2200 to schedule an appointment today.