Proper Dental Care Should Begin Early
Proper oral health should begin at a young age. As a parent, you can begin helping your child understand the value of good dental care habits before their first tooth even emerges. Although primary (baby) teeth are temporary, the surrounding tissues need to last a lifetime. Children who lack proper dental care throughout their younger years are at a greater risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Make it a priority to help your child learn and understand just how important daily brushing and flossing is, as well as making routine visits to a family dentistry expert an appreciated experience.
Many people don’t realize that the routine adult dental care habits—twice-daily brushing, once-daily flossing, and daily swishes with mouthwash—are just as important for children, with some modifications.
It’s no secret that brushing is essential to good dental care. It is the cornerstone of healthy teeth and gums, which is why you should start familiarizing your child with the habit well before the first tooth emerges. You can begin cleaning your baby’s gums with a soft cloth or piece of gauze following feeding to help your baby acclimate to the sensations of dental care. As your child’s teeth begin to emerge, wrap your finger with a soft cloth and emulate brushing their teeth and gums. Around the time your child has four fully emerged teeth, you can teach them how to use a toothbrush. Be certain to choose a soft-bristled toothbrush designed especially for children. Most family dentistry experts agree that only plain water is necessary for the first four or five years. Talk to an affordable dentist in Abingdon about when your child should begin to use toothpaste.
Begin flossing as soon as your child has two teeth that have emerged side by side, to help them become familiar with the sensations associated with flossing, Flossing promotes strong teeth and gum health by freeing bacteria and debris that gets caught where a toothbrush can’t reach. Areas between the teeth are where most people are susceptible to cavities and damage to surrounding tissue, making flossing an important habit to instill in your children. When flossing your child’s teeth, use a flossing stick or pick. You will find this makes the whole process easier for you and your child. As your child grows and acquires more teeth, you can make the transition to flossing with string floss.
Mouthwash can be important for young children, as well as adults. Look for brands that are specially formulated for young children. Mouthwash aids in the removal of the bacteria that cause bad breath, making it another important dental care habit for your children to learn.
By teaching the dental care basics of brushing, flossing, and the importance of routine visits to an affordable dentist in Abingdon, you will ensure that your child has a happy, healthy, and beautiful smile for a lifetime.
To learn about our family dentistry practice in Abingdon, call Dental One Associates of Bel Air today at (410) 698-1674 or make an appointment.