Proper Oral Care For Kids
A beautiful smile is a valuable asset. This is true for everyone, including kids. Teaching your little one about good oral care early on is one of the best investments you can make in your child’s future. Regular visits every six months to a Houston dentist for kids or a family dentist should begin shortly after baby’s first birthday. Prior to the first visit, professional oral care will usually be provided by the child’s pediatrician.
How Do I Care For Baby’s Teeth Before Our First Houston Dentist Appointment?
Even before your little one starts sprouting those first pearly whites at six months, you and baby should be practicing regular oral hygiene. Good oral care starts as soon as baby comes home from the hospital. Children are born with all their teeth hidden in the gums, and the key to healthy teeth is healthy gums. After every feeding, wipe your child’s gums gently with a wet washcloth. This gets rid of plaque, a sticky substance that causes tooth decay.
When the first baby teeth come in, begin brushing them twice a day with warm water and a small, soft-bristled brush. Never let baby drink from a bottle over a long period of time. It can cause bottle tooth decay. When baby finishes drinking, remove the bottle, and never put baby to bed with a bottle.
Oral Care During The First Two Years Of Life
During the first two years of life, your child will form oral care habits that will last for a lifetime. Research has shown that there is a strong relationship between poor oral hygiene before age two and tooth decay in children. Cavities in the baby teeth increase the likelihood of cavities in permanent teeth. It is up to parents to train children to perform regular dental care. Kids should be brushing their own teeth by age two, and brushing should last for about two minutes. Kids should also be flossing any baby teeth that touch each other. Primary teeth are usually all grown in by 2 1/2 years, and because they have less enamel than permanent teeth, they are more susceptible to decay.
Caring For Teeth From Age Three To Six
Kids can start brushing with fluoride toothpaste at age three, but they should only use a pea-sized amount. After brushing, the fluoride should be spit out and not swallowed. For best results, kids should brush and floss twice daily. Remind children to brush back teeth very carefully as they are prone to develop plaque, and wean kids from pacifiers and thumb-sucking by the age of four. Baby teeth start falling out to be replaced by permanent teeth at age six. By age 13, all the permanent teeth should be in.
What is The Difference Between a Pedodontist and a Family Dentist?
A pedodontist is a children’s dental specialist. If your child dislikes visiting the dentist, a pedodontist may help to make the experience more enjoyable.
What Is An Orthodontist?
Houston orthodontists specialize in teeth and jaw alignment. They treat patients with overbites, under-bites, malocclusion (bites that do not align properly), crooked teeth and crowded teeth. Braces may be applied to move teeth into proper position. Orthodontists also remove teeth when they are overcrowded and repair teeth that are irregularly shaped. It is best to begin orthodontia as soon as the permanent teeth have grown in. Treatment is most effective when the bone is still soft and the teeth are more easily moved.
There is no substitute for consistent oral hygiene. Good habits formed early along with exams and cleanings every six months are the best way to ensure that your kids have healthy, beautiful teeth that will last for a lifetime.