Unless you are a dentist, you no doubt struggle when it comes to judging how much dental care your child needs. How long do children need to brush for? What type of brush should they use? Should you little one be flossing? Does he or she need braces? When do you take them to the dentist? You’ve asked all of these questions in the past and, thus far, you’ve struggled to find any real answers.
Fear not, as the answers you’ve been looking for can be found below. Read on to find out what you should be doing to keep your child’s teeth healthy.
When should your child’s dental care begin at home?
Believe it or not, your child’s dental care should begin even before his or her first tooth appears. Of course, they can’t go ahead and brush their teeth if there is nothing there for them to actually brush (or if they cannot yet hold up a toothbrush without support). Your little one having no teeth shouldn’t, however, stop you from tending to the all-important task of keeping their mouth as healthy and as hygienic as it can possibly be.
Here’s what you should be doing before and just after your little one’s first teeth appear:
• Run a clean and damp washcloth over their gums regularly before their teeth appear, as this will help to clear away any harmful bacteria that attempts to form in their mouth
• Once teeth appear, brush them with an infant toothbrush using a rice-size amount of fluoride toothpaste
• As soon as the teeth begin to touch, you can start flossing gently between them
• Around the age of 2, your child should learn how to brush their teeth without support (at this time, get him or her into the habit of brushing for two minutes at a time, twice a day)
• Once he or she has turned 3, turn that rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste into a pea-sized one
When should your child see a dentist?
Many experts recommend that you take your child to see the dentist as early as just after their first birthday. Of course, your little one isn’t necessarily going to get a lot out of this initial visit, mainly because he or she won’t understand much about what the dentist does or says. Getting your child used to seeing the dentist as early on in their development as possible, however, will help them to get comfortable with the idea of getting check-ups more often in the future. Overcoming this hurdle will then allow you to book your child in at the dentist regularly without having to worry about them rebelling against the idea and, subsequently, ruining their chances of enjoying good oral hygiene as they grow.
If your child takes a particular disliking to visiting the dentist, you should consider taking him or her to a child-friendly clinic. This kind of establishment, such as the Brunswick Family Dental Clinic located near Melbourne, makes visiting the dentist a fun and engaging experience for all children. On top of that, it provides the best kind of oral care an infant can hope to receive.
As their parent, it’s your job to ensure that your child’s teeth are healthy and hygienic. Take the above advice, and you’ll be sure to do just that.