The early years of parenthood come along with many challenges and issues to look after. Between changing diapers and educating our kids, it's easy to lose sight of other important matters like dental care.
Many parents tend to think going to a kids' dentist may not be a priority until the permanent teeth settle in.
1. Get Them Used to Brushing Teeth Early on
By "early", we mean as soon as the first tooth pops up or, even before. As unrealistic and useless as it might seem, starting early has two key benefits:
- It helps your baby get used to a dental routine
- A clean mouth keeps teeth health and fights tooth rotting bacteria
Try to make this a daily habit, at least twice a day.
2. Use Good Teeth Cleaning Techniques
Usually, it's not the lack of cleaning but the bad technique that leads to dental problems.
Here's what any kids' dentist should tell parents about cleaning children's teeth, depending on their age:
- For a toothless baby, using a clean wet towel to massage the gums is all it takes.
- For a baby with just a few teeth, use a rubber finger brush to clean the teeth. Then, rinse with a clean wet towel.
- As the baby turns into a toddler, use a soft toothbrush to clean teeth. Be careful, though. Avoid the common aggressive back and forth brushing technique. Apart from being ineffective, it also damages the gums. The best way to clean the teeth is by moving the brush up-and-down in a circular way.
3. Create Healthy Eating Habits
Here's another thing a kids' dentist should tell parents. Even if you clean teeth regularly and correctly, the eating and snacking habits can still affect a child's teeth. That's why you should encourage healthy practices like:
- Having particular moments for eating and snacking - Snacking all throughout the day nurtures bacteria that destroy teeth.
- Giving the child water to keep hydrated between meals - Milk and juice should only be part of meals or snacks.
4. Set a Good Example
Kids are known to be great imitators. They pick up everything they see around them - good or bad. So, if you ever want your child to be serious about his/her dental health, you should do it first.
- Go to the dentist yourself - Seeing the dentist a few times a year will keep your teeth healthy and provide a great example for your child. If possible, allow your kid to come with you.
- Brush your own teeth - "Apart from offering a good model, brushing your teeth at least two or three times a day keeps your kid's mouth healthy as well" states dentist in Broomfield, Dr. Kwon. That's because you can pass on any mouth bacteria you might have when you give them a peck on the cheek. Mouthwash and floss are also very reliable.
5. Make Kids' Dentist Appointments a Priority
Who says you have to wait until the permanent teeth come in to take your child for a dental check-up? It's rather wise to make a dentist appointment as soon as he or she turns one.
The advantages cannot be ignored:
- It helps the child get used to a kids dentist and dental procedures early in life
- It gives a specialized assessment of your child's dental health
- It solves dental problems before they become too painful or too traumatizing to treat.
If you are anxious about your child's first trip to the dentist, try to give them some pep talk beforehand. Who knows? They might surprise you by taking it a lot more lightly than you expect.
If you are ready to make an appointment, contact us today. We promise to treat your daughter or son with all the care and empathy they need.