Great care of young smiles delivered in our pediatric dentistry office in Indianapolis
A number of benefits come from early childhood dental care. The advantages that come from professional care can be maximized with healthy hygiene habits in between visits with your child’s dentist. Oral health is important from the first days of life and well into adulthood. No matter the age of your child, there are specific steps you can take to ensure healthy teeth and gums.
Early dental care starts even before teeth are seen
An infant’s oral health is impacted by oral bacteria just as is a child of two or twenty. Therefore, there is a need for early dental care beginning in the first days of life. To keep oral bacteria in check in the mouth of an infant, a soft, moist cloth can be used to clean the gums, cheeks, and tongue of a baby after feedings.
At one time, it was very common to put a child to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice. When a child falls asleep with a bottle in his or her mouth, however, or immediately after a feeding, sugar residue remains on the teeth and gums, increasing the risk of cavities. If a child must go to sleep with a bottle, the only safe liquid is water.
Brushing done right
There is not only a proper way to brush, but also proper brushing tools for optimal health. Soft bristled toothbrushes designed for the size of a child’s hand should be used and changed every few months. Children learning to care for their own teeth may find encouragement in a fun child-themed toothbrush.
Flossing important at every age
Adults and older children are encouraged to floss daily for optimal oral health. This habit can actually begin as soon as two teeth have grown in next to each other.
Fluoride can be harmful to young children if swallowed in excessive amounts. The current recommendation is that children begin using fluoride toothpaste when they are no longer at risk of swallowing toothpaste.
Children who develop healthy hygiene habits reduce their risk of common dental problems. In addition to brushing and flossing daily, children should visit their dentist every six months. Early childhood dental visits are relatively simple, consisting of a checkup and cleaning. During routine visits, we address specific needs, assess for cavity risk, and discuss how oral health can be improved or maintained.
Washington Street Dentistry provides fun, efficient dental care. Contact us at (317) 333-6788.