How to care for your child's teeth.
A PARENT’S GUIDE TO
From 3 to 11 years of age. Your child’s teeth are developing rapidly and starting to become permanent. Let’s talk about that!
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Develop an oral hygiene routine.
Why is it important?
Healthy teeth are important to your child’s overall health. They help your child eat and talk. Strong oral care helps set good dental habits as your child grows. Poor oral care can lead to infection, disease, or other teeth problems.
Here are some tips to ensure that your child’s teeth remain healthy and in check:
Help your child brush and floss including the back teeth
Be sure your child brushes for at least 2 minutes twice a day
Start flossing as soon as teeth touch
Maintain a dental examination schedule.
When and how often should I schedule it?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends scheduling regular dental checkups, with the most common interval being every six months.
However, we may recommend fewer or more-frequent visits depending on your child's risk factors for oral health problems.
General tips for keeping your child’s teeth healthy.
Brush and floss daily
Good oral hygiene habits prevent tooth decay, cavities, tooth loss, and additional dental problems that can develop into expensive issues in the future. Try to do the following:
Have them brush their teeth for 2 minutes then floss after each meal
Floss for them until the age of 6
Replace their toothbrush every 3 months
Eat a healthy diet
Eating healthy changes everything. As your child’s caretaker you have a role to play in their oral health that you may not have known existed. By feeding your child a healthy diet you can help reduce potential dental issues drastically. Here are a few ideas you might try out:
Moderate sugary food and drink intake as these are a leading cause of tooth decay and cavities
Keep fruits and vegetables around the house as a snack alternative to sweets
Offer your child water in place of juice or soda as often as possible
Learn more about orthodontics
As your child’s first set of permanent molars erupts our orthodontist can begin to identify potential issues that may require braces or another form of orthodontics. When dental intervention occurs early enough it can sometimes prevent the need for braces entirely, which is why we always recommend that your child is regularly checked every six months.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first check-up with an orthodontist no later than age 7. By that age, a child will have a mix of baby and permanent teeth, and the orthodontist will be able to recognize orthodontic problems (“malocclusions”) even in their earliest stages.
If your child is younger than 7, and you notice something that appears “off,” it’s not necessary to wait until your child turns 7 or get a recommendation from your dentist to get a first check-up. If your child is 8 or older, it is not too late for a check-up with an orthodontist.
Watch out for the following:
Thumb sucking: it’s important for children to stop sucking their thumb by the time their permanent teeth begin to come in. A consultation with our pediatric dentist may be helpful if this behavior continues after the age of 4.
Teeth grinding (bruxism): potentially can lead to severe headaches, sensitive teeth, tooth decay, and damage. If your child is grinding their teeth past the age of 6, we recommend setting up a consultation with our office.
Crooked teeth: while they may appear cute at first, crooked teeth can be debilitating as life moves along. If you notice your child has the markings of crooked teeth, schedule an appointment with our orthodontist.
What happens after my child’s first dentist appointment?