A Parent’s Guide to Pediatric Dental Care
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Originally Posted On: https://smilekentuckiana.com/a-parents-guide-to-pediatric-dental-care/
Most babies are born with 20 baby teeth that eventually get replaced with 32 adult teeth. Although seeing these first teeth pop through is an exciting milestone, it is the start of a lifelong journey of keeping teeth clean.
Dental issues are common in young children. If not taken care of correctly, these issues can lead to bigger problems down the road. That’s why it’s important to start good dental habits early.
As a parent, you want what’s best for your child, and that includes their dental health. With so much information out there, it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to pediatric dental care.
If you’re not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. We cover everything you need to know to help you get the dental care your child needs.
Tooth Issues in Children
You may think that because children lose their baby teeth, you don’t need to take care of them as thoroughly. In reality, these tiny teeth are as important as adult ones.
As soon as a baby gets their teeth in they can get tooth decay. This problem only grows as they get older and start enjoying different types of foods.
It’s no secret that children love to eat sweet foods from a young age. If you don’t care for their teeth, tooth decay and cavities can become a real problem.
Cavities form when plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, builds up on the teeth. This plaque makes acids that eat away at tooth enamel. Your child’s risk for cavities goes up if they eat a lot of sugary foods or drinks, or if they don’t brush their teeth each day.
Babies are at risk for tooth decay if you give them milk or formula in a bottle to have through the night. The natural sugars in these drinks stay on the teeth and can damage them.
It can be tricky to spot tooth decay on baby teeth. That’s why you need the trained eye of a pediatric dentist to help determine if the teeth already have damage.
Cleaning Baby Teeth
You can clean a baby’s gums using a soft, damp washcloth right from birth. You’ll want to start caring for your baby’s teeth with a toothbrush as soon as they erupt in the mouth. For most babies, this occurs at about six months of age.
Babies don’t brush with toothpaste until they are older. In the beginning, you’ll want to focus on getting your baby used to the idea of brushing their teeth.
Start with a soft baby brush. You can use water on the brush at first to get them used to brushing.
It’s also a good idea to have your drinking water checked to see if it is fluoridated or not. If you have non-fluoridated water, you will want to alert your pediatric dentist. They may use a fluoride varnish to keep your child’s teeth protected.
Keeping Toddler Teeth Clean
Once your baby gets a bit older, you can start introducing toothpaste. Choose a toothpaste designed for infants and children. Many come in delicious flavors to help make brushing more desirable.
While some parents may think brushing their child’s teeth is a scary task, there are ways to have fun while doing it. There are some tricks you can try to make brushing their teeth more fun.
Buy your toddler a special toothbrush that they can pick out. They may be more excited to brush with the toothbrush they choose.
There are many different songs you can find that encourage teeth brushing. These songs and videos are fun and help keep your toddler engaged in brushing.
Have a family brushing party! Model good dental hygiene while you brush your teeth with your toddler.
Make sure to brush in a back-and-forth motion, using a soft-bristled brush and warm water. Be patient and allow your toddler to help.
The First Dentist Visit
If you want to keep your child’s teeth healthy, you will need to do some groundwork before their first dental appointment. Most people schedule their child’s first dental appointment by the time they are about a year old.
You’ll need to decide what kind of dental care your child needs. If they have good oral health, they may just need regular check-ups and cleanings. If they have cavities or other dental problems, they may need more extensive dental work.
Your dentist will make sure you and your child are comfortable before you begin. The first appointment usually consists of counting baby teeth and looking at the parts of the mouth. It is also here where your dentist will get a family dental history and give you a chance to ask questions.
Make sure you’re keeping up with your child’s dental hygiene at home. This includes brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing. It also means limiting the number of sugary snacks and drinks they eat.
If you have any questions about pediatric dental care, don’t hesitate to ask your child’s dentist. They’re there to help!
Dental Tips and Trick
If your child is nervous about going to the dentist, try role-playing or reading books. These can be great tools to calm the nerves.
Only talk to your child about the dentist in positive ways. Discuss how the dentist is there to keep their teeth strong and healthy.
If you are relaxed about going to the dentist, your child will also pick up on those feelings.
Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy With Pediatric Dental Care
Although going to the dentist can be a cause of stress to some, it doesn’t have to be for your child. With a clear routine and positive attitude, pediatric dental care can be a stress-free experience for everyone.
Are you looking for a new pediatric dentist in the Kentucky area? If so, Kentuckiana Pediatric Dentistry can help. Our convenient, kid-friendly offices are ready to help care for all your child’s dental needs.
Contact us to make your first appointment today!