Pediatric dentistry is an entire realm of dentistry expertise in itself. Dentists can specialize in pediatric dentistry or offer it within their general dental procedures. Due to the developmental nature of children’s teeth, making too many permanent changes or adjustments is risky. Dentists often resort to temporary means of fixing, adjusting, or delaying direct issues for children’s dental hygiene. There are a few tips that any dentist might give to a parent trying to care for their child’s smile. Preventative care is the ideal method of keeping dentist appointments down to a necessary minimum. The following list of dental hygiene tips for kids may be helpful for parents.
5 Tips for Keeping Your Child’s Smile Healthy
Healthy smiles are best made with preventative care rather than trying to fix problems down the road. Some of the best habits you can work on with your child include:
1. Start Brushing Early
Even before their first tooth fully emerges, it is wise to rinse the gum tissue of leftover baby food, formula, or milk to keep their mouth as free of bacteria and food debris as possible. Irritated gums can quickly become inflamed and infected if not cared for. For every tooth that erupts, you should brush them gently with water. Making an appointment with a dentist when a baby’s first tooth emerges is an excellent start to dental hygiene for children.
2. Introduce Toothpaste at Two
Most toothpaste has fluoride as an active ingredient, which is the leading factor as to why any adult would want to use it. It has been proven completely safe for young children and adults, but at very young ages, it’s important to keep an eye on the amount of fluoride toothpaste a child is ingesting. Starting when infants are around six months old, an amount the size of a grain of rice of fluoride toothpaste is appropriate. Upgrade to a pea-sized amount when they reach two to three years of age.
3. Brushing Alongside the Child
Dental hygiene for children is a habit formed over time. Watching their caretakers practice healthy hygiene habits encourages them to do the same and builds a habit that follows them into adulthood. Not only do they watch others making healthy choices for their smile, but they are also supervised during this time, which is another suggestion from dental healthcare professionals.
4. Practice Flossing
As with brushing, even if just one tooth, flossing also helps to remove plaque and debris from around the tooth, minimizing bacteria growth in the infant or child’s mouth. The fewer bacteria there are, the less likely an infection of the gums or tooth decay will occur. With children’s diets, it’s not a challenge to develop cavities, so practicing these healthy habits early can only secure them into their everyday schedule as they grow.
5. Make it a Game
Most might not consider dental hygiene to be particularly fun, and that is often especially true for children. A helpful trick for getting kids to participate in healthy habits for their teeth is to make it a game. Offering healthy rewards, adding a sense of competition to the activity, and other enticing additives to the experience make it fun and encouraging, rather than a chore.
Call Greenwood Dental to Answer Your Questions
For any and all questions a parent or caregiver may have concerning their child’s oral healthcare, contact the professionals at Greenwood Dental at 855.528.3961. Whether it’s the first dentist appointment of many to come or a routine check, Greenwood Dental can answer any questions, calm any hesitations, and supply any dental hygiene support your child may need. Building healthy habits for children is a priority here and we’re excited to help set the first stone.