As a parent, you only want the best for your child. Just like you take your child to the pediatrician to ensure that his or her physical health is in order, you should also visit the dentist. While baby teeth are not the permanent teeth a child will have for the rest of his or her life, caring for your child’s smile starts at birth. A healthy smile increases confidence, improves overall health and avoids the pain associated with tooth decay.
When Should You Start Brushing Your Child’s Teeth?
The moment that the first tooth breaks through the gums, you should start brushing your child’s teeth using a soft-bristled toothbrush designed for kids. If your child is under three, use a small dab of toothpaste with fluoride about the size of a grain of rice. If your child is between 3-6 years old, you can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. We suggest brushing your child’s teeth twice a day. When cleaning, lift your child’s upper and lower lip to brush the gum line in addition to the teeth. Check for any white staining on teeth, especially near the gum line, which can be an early sign of a cavity.
What About Permanent Teeth?
Caring for your child’s smile becomes even more critical when permanent teeth appear when your child is 6-7 years of age. The permanent teeth will continue to emerge over the course of his or her teenage years. Every day, your child should brush his or her teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time with toothpaste that contains fluoride. Your child should floss once a day.
When Should Your Child Visit the Dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry suggests that all children visit the dentist before the age of 1 or within six months of a tooth erupting. While there might not be teeth to clean yet or cavities, starting visits to the dentist early in life help to increase comfort and ensure there are no dental problems. Baby teeth are critical to speech development, proper nutrition and a healthy permanent smile.
OneSource Dental Helps in Caring for Your Child’s Smile
OneSource Dental of South Tampa offers compassionate dental care to patients of all ages, including children. We care about helping you and your family achieve optimal oral health. To schedule your exam or learn more about caring for your child’s smile, give us a call today at (813) 879-9299. We look forward to keeping your smile bright and healthy!