Why is Oral Hygiene Important for Baby Teeth?
Experts recommend that a child have their first dental visit around age one. At this time, your baby may not have very many teeth. However, those that they do have need to be checked. Furthermore, they need to be brushed daily, just like you brush your own teeth! It's necessary to begin cleaning a baby's mouth as soon as their first tooth erupts. At that time, all you need to do is gently wipe their gums and around the tooth with a soft, moist cloth.
It's true that your child's baby teeth will fall out. However, these teeth are vital to several aspects of their health and wellness. In early childhood, teeth are a necessary part of speech development. Obviously, healthy teeth are a must as your child enhances their diet with new, healthy foods. In a broader scope, baby teeth are also placeholders in the mouth. They are involved in directing permanent teeth in their growth and entry once the first teeth fall out.
Why is it Important for My Child to See the Dentist Every Six Months?
It's easy to think that the only reason a child should see their dentist every six months is so they can get checked for cavities. That is a common factor in all routine dental checkups. However, children also benefit in other ways by seeing their dentist regularly. One of the most significant is that, when your child routinely receives dental care from a familiar collection of faces and at times when they aren't experiencing dental problems, their chances of feeling comfortable at the dentist's office are much greater. Children who do not regularly see their dentist in early childhood are more likely to grow up with a sense of fear around dental care. They may become adults with dental anxiety to postpone dental care until they have a painful problem that cannot be ignored. Studies also suggest that children who learn the value of dental hygiene and regular dental care early in life more often grow up into teens and adults who take great care of their teeth. The better a person knows how to perform dental hygiene, the less likely they are to struggle with ongoing problems like cavities and gum disease.
How Can I Teach My Child About Brushing their Teeth?
Daily oral care is paramount to your child's happiest, healthiest smile! As you may know, getting a child to consistently brush their teeth can be a challenge. Because you cannot compromise on this matter of health and wellness, it pays to discover innovative ways to motivate (not mandate) your child in the area of dental hygiene. Young children don't quite have the mental capacity to understand the connection between tooth brushing and cavity prevention. Their learning must be much more fun and connected to a beloved caregiver.
Some of the ways in which you might encourage your child to develop consistent dental hygiene practices include:
- Brush their teeth daily starting in infancy.
- Have your child near you when you brush your teeth so they can learn by example.
- When your child is old enough, offer them choices in their dental hygiene. This may be which flavor of toothpaste to use or letting them pick out their favorite toothbrush. You might even build a small collection of toothbrushes from which they can choose from one day to the next.
- Consider letting your child use an electric toothbrush.
- Take turns brushing each other's teeth.
- Help them. Keep in mind that your child doesn't have the dexterity to brush their teeth until at least the age of six.