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dental care for children

 
 

When should I start cleaning my baby's teeth?

This is a good habit to start early!  The teeth must be cleaned as they erupt.  Use a damp washcloth or a toothbrush when there are at least 4 teeth in a row in either the top or bottom. 

Tooth brushing is definitely a parents job in the preschool years.  But be sure to include your child in the process of brushing to give them a sense of control.

Children are usually able to brush their teeth well when they are 8 years old.  Be sure to check your child's teeth regularly for any chalky white or brown spots which could be the beginning of tooth decay.

 
 
 
 

How will sleeping with the bottle affect my baby’s teeth?

Children who have erupted teeth or are past the age to be weaned are highly susceptible to rotted front teeth when being put to bed with a bottle containing milk, juice or other sugar-containing liquids.

There is decreased salivary flow during sleep and clearance of the liquid from the teeth is slowed. The liquid pools around the upper front baby teeth and creates an excellent environment to promote the growth of decay-causing bacteria.

Removing the bottle before the first tooth appears and wiping the child's gums and teeth with a soft cloth before being put to bed can help prevent decay.

 
 
 
 

When should my child first see a dentist?

Your child should visit a dentist between the ages of 2½ and 3 years.  It is advisable to the parents to bring their child in for an informative appointment before the child’s first birthday to discuss proper dental care and answer any dental related questions
.

 
 
 
 

Should I worry about infant thumb or finger sucking?

Thumb sucking is perfectly normal for infants; most stop by the age of two. Prolonged (beyond age 5 or 6 years) thumb sucking can create crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems. We will be glad to suggest ways to address a prolonged thumb-sucking habit..

 
 
 
 

How do I get my child to brush?

Most children will naturally not want to brush as the feeling of a toothbrush may feel uncomfortable.  Start early.  As soon as there are 4 teeth in a row, have them get used to idea of using a toothbrush.  Let them play with it.  Have them watch you brush your teeth while they hold their own toothbrush.

As they get older, make a game of it.  Hold the toothbrush together and gently brush the front teeth.  Don’t worry too much about doing a perfect job.  When done, let your child know what a great job they did.  Positive reinforcement is the key to having your child become excited about brushing.

There are children’s toothpaste that contain no fluoride.  These are recommended as children tend to swallow the toothpaste and fluoride can be harmful to small children.  Be sure to use a very small amount.


Older children who may not have grown up brushing will require a little more understanding.  Explain to them how their teeth are covered with “sugar bugs” from the food they ate.  “Sugar bugs” can make holes and hurt the teeth.  Only brushing can make the “sugar bugs” disappear and make the teeth nice and clean.

Again, be sure to use plenty of positive feedback and patience.  Brushing your teeth at the same time as your children sets a great example.



 
 
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