How to Care for Your Children's Teeth
At Fuqua Advanced Dental we strive to look after the smiles and oral health of everyone in your family. This even includes the littlest members of your clan, because itis important to take care of those baby teeth as they serve as placeholders for the larger, adult teeth that will come replace them down the road. Even more importantly, developing healthy dental hygiene habits from an early age can facilitate a lifetime of strong teeth and healthy, pink gums.
However, it can be difficult to know how to begin to care for your children's teeth. After all, babies unfortunately do not come into our lives toting instructional manuals and how-to guides. To help shed light on how to get started on the road to great dental hygiene with your little one we have outlined some key questions that you may have.
As a parent, when do I need to start being concerned with my child's teeth?
Surprisingly, even before your child has sprouted any teeth, there are preventative measures that can be taken to maintain top oral health. This is needed because harmful bacteria from food or milk can stay in a baby's mouth long after eating and settle onto the gums. To fight against this, parents can use a soft, wet washcloth to clear the bacteria away by wiping it across the gums.
Once teeth have made their grand entrance, parents can brush the teeth and gums with a soft, infant toothbrush to clean away any bacteria after meals. At this time it can be important to restrict eating or drinking anything but water before bed, because the remains of any food can damage the enamel overnight, leading to cavities or other problems harmful to the teeth.
When should I take my child to see a dentist for the first time?
At Fuqua Advanced Dental, we recommend that your child first be introduced to the dentist around the age of one for what we call a "Happy Visit." During this visit, your child can see and hear all the different, routine activities that go on in a normal trip to the dentist. This interaction can help to reduce any anxiety that a child might feel when going in for their first real checkup and show them just how friendly and fun our office can be!
We recommend you bring your child in every 6 months for their checkup and preventative visit.This checkup involves a tooth-by-tooth inspection and periodontal exam as the dentist checks for proper development, any decay or other areas of concern. If at any time you feel your child is having any problems with their teeth or gums, prior to the age of one, do not hesitate to make an appointment with us so we can take a look and make sure everything is alright.
The main purpose for such an early dental visit is to prevent any problems that could occur and to maintain good health in the mouths of children. Both of these goals can be achieved through routine visits and, if needed, additional dental treatments, such as sealants to protect teeth from sugar, and fluoride supplements to make enamel stronger and more resistant to bacteria.
How should my children take care of their teeth at home?
Home care is a very important part of oral hygiene and plays a large role in keeping teeth in their top condition. The first thing that you should teach your children in regards to taking care of their teeth is to brush twice a day from the time the first baby tooth appears. Starting with that first tooth until the age of two, brush with a soft toothbrush with a non-fluoridated beginner toothpaste. Then from the age of two, kids should use a soft toothbrush with a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste to brush their teeth. Brushing before bed is especially important because of the length of time the bacteria could sit on their teeth.
The next step in home care is flossing, which should start being done as soon as there are two teeth that touch each other. Flossing removes bits of food and bacteria between teeth that a toothbrush might miss and is an important tool in keeping gums healthy.
Drinking water and choosing healthy snacks is another step in maintaining pristine oral health. By keeping sugary foods and drinks to a minimal, the bacteria that the child’s teeth are exposed to can be substantially reduced. Additionally, most tap water contains fluoride, which works to strengthen enamel and help fight against any decay or cavities. Tap water is more beneficial to healthy teeth than purified water, which has had all the fluoride filtered out of it.
We know you want the best for your children and at Fuqua Advanced Dental we put both the time and the effort needed to create a safe and welcoming environment in our office, ultimately making a visit the dentist an enjoyable experience for everyone.
If you would like to learn more about our children's dental services or have any questions that we did not answer here, please feel free to contact us directly by phone, email or even stopping by in person at our Southlake office.