Your child’s oral health journey begins the moment their first tooth erupts. Baby teeth may be temporary, but they require the same care and attention as permanent teeth. Until children are old enough to adequately brush and floss their teeth on their own, there are several steps parents can take to support their oral health and ensure the ongoing health of their teeth and gums.
Nathalie Phaeton, DDS, and Ki Youn Kil, DDS, and our team at Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics are here to support your child’s oral health journey. We offer a range of pediatric dentistry services for babies and kids of all ages at our office in Falls Church, Virginia.
Here are a few tips to help support and promote your child’s oral health from the time their first tooth erupts.
1. Schedule regular dental appointments
How soon is too soon to schedule your child’s first visit to the dentist? The answer may actually surprise you. In accordance with the American Dental Association (ADA), our pediatric dentists recommend that you schedule your baby’s first appointment either six months after their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday.
The journey to good oral health begins with your baby’s first tooth. In addition to checking the health of their teeth and gums, regular appointments allow our dentists to monitor your child’s progress and provide an opportunity for you to ask questions and get guidance on the best oral health and hygiene practices for your children.
And when you start getting dental appointments for your child, ask when would be a good time to consider preventive treatments, such as dental sealants. These treatments can flatten the chewing surface of the back molars to make teeth easier to brush and make it harder for bacteria to burrow and accumulate on and between your child’s teeth.
2. Assist and supervise their brushing and flossing
You can expect to start brushing and gently cleaning your baby’s gums when they start teething and flossing as soon as their teeth begin to touch.
Every child is different, but kids usually develop enough technique to brush their teeth on their own as early as age four or five, but they typically require supervision for a few years to make sure they’re brushing and flossing thoroughly.
3. Help them adopt healthy eating habits
Diet plays a crucial role in oral health, and sugary snacks and drinks are especially problematic for children. Encourage them to eat fruit, such as apples, and veggies, such as broccoli, which are packed with nutrients and can help scrub bacteria from teeth.
Try to limit how much candy they eat, and keep an eye on labels when choosing fruit drinks and other sweet beverages, which are usually loaded with lots of added sugar.
For more information and tips on how to support and protect your child’s oral health, call 703-498-2440 or book an appointment online with Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics today.