Tips for Kids Dental Care
- From a very early age, children should know that brushing is a non-negotiable part of their daily routine.
- Children tend to swallow toothpaste, which isn’t too dangerous as long as it is only in small amounts. Avoid problems by using a pea-size amount of toothpaste and encouraging them to spit early on. Most kids will think this is fun!
- Find a variety of toothpaste your child likes. Many toothpastes have strong flavors which can seem harsh to little mouths (even some kids’ brands).
- Make brushing seem more like play and less like a chore. Pretend to brush a stuffed animal’s teeth or have them brush their own teeth to music. A two minute song can encourage them to keep brushing for more than just a few seconds.
Dental Care Tips for Older Children
- Getting fluoride treatments can be very helpful for children, especially once their adult teeth come in. Fluoride helps teeth resist the process of decay and can even combat existing early decay lesions.
- Floss your child’s teeth after their baby molars have erupted, around age 2 or 3. Many cavities start between the teeth, an area impossible to clean with a toothbrush alone.
- Children should floss on their own as soon as they can manage the precision it takes to get between every tooth. For many children, they can handle this at around age 8 or 9. Presenting this to them as something “big people do” can make it more appealing. Of course, you need to floss before you can ask them to!
When to Take Them to the Dentist
Dr. Theriot likes to see your children around age two or three. That’s when their baby molars have usually erupted and need to be checked. Don’t wait until your child has a problem, because when there is a toothache or some other problem, it is an anxious time and this can negatively affect their attitude toward dentistry for the rest of their life. If you bring them in before there is a problem, it can be a fun visit for them and help them develop good habits.
Complex issues can require the attention of a pediatric dentist specialist, but for ordinary and routine care we love caring for your child’s smile!
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