Dentistry for Kids
We love to see patients of all ages, and that includes the little ones! Regular dental checkups are important to make sure your child has a healthy smile. Problems with baby teeth can lead to problems with permanent teeth, so make sure that you are taking care of your child’s teeth and enforcing good hygiene habits as soon as they get their first tooth!
10 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR KIDS SMILING!
- Kids who are too young to tie their own shoes lack the dexterity to properly brush their teeth. It’s a good idea to let them brush on their own so they get in the habit, but an adult should always take over before they are done to make sure the teeth are clean.
- Brush your teeth with your child. Kids who are old enough to brush their own teeth often get distracted and don’t brush for the recommended two minutes. They also have a tendency to skip teeth. If you brush while they brush, you can make sure they are brushing long enough and doing a thorough job. A timer can also be helpful.
- Spit after brushing. Make sure your child doesn’t swallow large amounts of their toothpaste; it can cause stomachaches and possibly stains in permanent teeth that are still developing. Little ones who are not grown up enough to avoid swallowing should use toothpaste without fluoride, but a fluoride toothpaste should be used as soon as a child can brush without swallowing. The sooner the better!
- But don’t rinse! One of the main benefits of toothpaste is that it leaves traces of fluoride on the teeth, which helps improve strength and resists tooth decay. The longer it stays on the teeth the better, so make sure your kids don’t rinse with water after they brush.
- A pea size is enough! A little bit of toothpaste goes a long way!
- Never put a baby to bed with anything other than water. If your baby needs a bottle to sleep at night, make sure it isn’t full of milk, otherwise they can develop cavities, especially on the front teeth.
- Reduce the frequency of sweets. Everyone knows that sugary foods contribute to cavities, and scientists are finding that it is more about HOW OFTEN than HOW MUCH. Try to cut out snacking on sugary foods and drinks between meals.
- Wear mouthguards for sports. If a ball, bat, or gym floor hits your child’s tooth, the tooth will always lose! Make sure your children wear mouthguards for contact sports. A dentist can make a mouthguard that won’t come out while they play and will still allow them to speak clearly.
- Know what to do if a tooth is knocked out in an accident. If a tooth is knocked out in an accident, the most important thing you can do is get to a dentist immediately. The sooner you get your child to a dentist, the better the chances the tooth can be saved. Never store a tooth in water. The best environment for storage in is the child’s mouth, under their lip, so it can bathe in their saliva; however, this should be done with extreme caution because there is a risk that the child could swallow the tooth or aspirate it (breathe it into the lungs). Never store a tooth in the mouth of the child if they are very young or disoriented and upset from the accident. If you don’t think it’s a good idea to store the tooth in the child’s mouth, place the tooth in milk and get to the dentist as soon as you can.
- Make sure that your child sees a dentist every six months. Catching dental problems before they become too severe will make the experience much easier on your child. Regular checkups are the key to a healthy smile.