Taking your child for their first dental visit with the pediatric dentist is encouraged at around the twelve month mark. Several baby teeth should have erupted at this stage. Your child receives an examination to assure their oral health is on track. This also provides the perfect opportunity for the caregiver to ask questions and receive the information needed to maintain excellent oral health as your child grows.
Brushing – As your child ages it is imperative that you instill and monitor this important daily habit. As a toddler you will need to assist your child as their coordination and attention to detail require your expertise. The correct tools (a soft bristle tooth brush) and age appropriate tooth paste (nothing with fluoride until your child has mastered spitting) are all you need. But bring your patience as your child might offer resistance as brushing twice every day (at a minimum) may feel redundant to them.
Flossing – There are many kinds of dental floss available. You can get flavored, plain, waxed, floss tape, floss picks … the selection is varied. Find the one that works best for your needs, and allow your child to watch you floss every day. Make it a game or contest to encourage their participation; the important thing is to groove flossing into a daily habit for you and your child.
Flossing is critical to healthy dentition. Food debris not reached by a tooth brush are removed, gum tissue is stimulated with gentle flossing around the gum lines, and plaque growth becomes minimized with daily flossing. Plaque is the leading cause of dental decay and/or gum disease.
Dental decay is often more prevalent in children as their teeth are still growing and lack the strength from minerals that are present in adults. This coupled with their diet may lead to decay forming. Your pediatric dentist can provide tools to help prevent cavities such as fluoride treatments to strengthen dental enamel; and sealants that can be applied to chewing surfaces to help protect them from decay formation.
Brushing and flossing are the tools for healthy dentition, and daily care helps to keep teeth looking their best; helps keep breath fresh; and coupled with regularly scheduled six month dental visits will help allow the patient to maintain excellent dental health for their lifetime.
Call our team at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry with any questions you have or to schedule an appointment for your child!