Never Too Old or Too Young for Healthy Dental Care Habits
Habits for healthy teeth begin before your child’s first tooth emerges and, if you instill proper dental care habits, will never cease, even well into adulthood. To some, it may seem like a ridiculous notion to begin teaching your child about dental care when all they have is a gummy grin and a vague concept of the world. However, more and more family dentistry experts are seeing children as young as age 4 with serious cases of tooth decay. Baby teeth may be only temporary, but the surrounding tissues must last a lifetime. That is why proper dental care is a paramount lesson for children as young as six months and should extend well into adulthood.
4 Habits of Proper Dental Care for Kids
Use this guide to teach your children about the importance of healthy teeth and proper dental care.
1. Start dental care early. Just as you can begin cleaning your baby’s gums shortly after birth, you should be taking your one-year-old to your family dentistry practitioner, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. The CDC reports establishing this habit early is an integral preventive health measure that can reduce dental care costs by as much as 40 percent over five years.
2. Teach brushing and flossing habits. You may think that the baby teeth are not important, but the care of the primary teeth directly affects outcomes for the secondary teeth. The gums and jawbone are tissues that support the teeth throughout life. If you don’t help your child properly care for their baby teeth, the risk of damage to this tissue rises significantly.
3. Watch out for decay due to baby bottles and sippy cups. Pediatricians and family dentistry experts caution parents against putting an infant or older child down for a nap with a bottle of juice, formula, or milk. This leaves a sugary film on the teeth that can do serious damage when paired with the bacteria of the mouth while your child sleeps. Not only can tooth decay occur, but untreated dental disease can adversely impact speech, learning, and certain aspects of growth.
4. Get rid of the pacifier after age 2. Pacifiers used in the first year of life have been linked to prevention of sudden infant death syndrome, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. The pacifier is safe to use when putting your infant to sleep but do not reinsert once your baby has drifted off to sleep. Your baby’s dental health can be affected by long-term use of a pacifier. Strong sucking can impair proper tooth alignment.
Talk to an affordable dentist about all the ways you can help your child learn and embrace proper dental care. It can make all the difference in their health for life.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Abingdon, call Dental One Associates of Bel Air today at (410) 698-1674 or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Abingdon. With 11 affiliated practices throughout Maryland, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Bel Air, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Bel Air.