From the moment a baby starts teething, parents are invested in their child’s oral health, but brushing your baby’s first tooth is just the beginning. Dr. Afshin Vahadi and Dr. Vafa Mirshams know that good oral care for a child sets the foundation for a lifestyle of good oral hygiene.
We also know that convincing a headstrong toddler to brush his or her teeth isn’t the easiest task. That’s why we’ve created this guide filled with tips for caring for your child’s teeth.
Once your baby sprouts a tooth, it’s time to start brushing, and once your baby has two adjacent teeth, it’s time to start flossing. In order to make your little one comfortable, always use the appropriate-sized toothbrush. Infant brushes slide over the parent’s finger so it’s easier to target each tooth, while toddler toothbrushes feature larger handles that are easier for little hands to grasp.
For children under the age of 3, use a smear (the size of a grain of rice) of toothpaste. Children under 6 can receive a pea-sized dot of toothpaste.
To make brushing more enjoyable, keep these tips in mind:
When it comes to flossing, you may find that pre-threaded flossers are easier to use. Always supervise your children when they are brushing and flossing. Depending on the child, you may need to supervise until they are between 6 and 8 years old.
Feeling overwhelmed in the oral care aisle? The American Dental Association created a shopping list of approved oral care products for children. The list contains toothpaste, toothbrushes, flossers, and more.
Sugar is a cavity’s best friend, and unfortunately, sugar can sneak into kids’ diets. Juice, sports drinks, and even cereal are loaded with sugar. Offer plenty of water as a beverage to your child and be sure to brush their teeth after consuming any treats.
The American Dental Association recommends diluting juice (when it’s offered) to reduce the sugar content.
In addition to teaching your child how to brush and floss properly, you can take cavity protection to the next level by protecting your child’s teeth with sealants. Sealants are painlessly applied to your child’s teeth, and they prevent plaque from accumulating in those hard-to-brush crevices.
If your child plays sports such as soccer, football, or baseball or participates in recreational activities such as skateboarding, wearing a protective mouthguard can help prevent dental emergencies.
Once your child’s permanent teeth emerge, you may notice crowding, gaps, or bite issues. Children as young as 12 can benefit from orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment provides many benefits, including improved bite, reduced temporomandibular joint pain, easier chewing, and boosted confidence. Whether your child receives braces or Invisalign® trays, the oral care habits you instilled in your child are even more important during orthodontic treatments.
As family dentists, we’re thrilled to care for every member of your family. During your child’s pediatric dental exam, don’t hesitate to ask questions. We’re more than happy to provide additional tips based on your child’s specific oral care needs.
Give our Frisco, Texas, office a call or use our online scheduling tool to book your child’s next — or first — appointment.