- August 1, 2015
When you first find out that you are pregnant, your mind immediately begins to race as you think about all of the things that you are now responsible for! Caring for your child’s health, education, and social skills development are just the tip of the iceberg. Here at Brandon Family Dental in Ortonville, MI, we are concerned about how you care for your child’s smile.
It can be overwhelming to throw oral health care on top of everything else, but it is important that you do not neglect those itty bitty teeth! We know it’s a lot to think about, which is why we have put together a couple of blogs to help you think through the oral health concerns unique to your children as they age.
We’ll start today by talking about baby and toddler smiles. We’ll move on to the school years later in the month, so be sure to check back!
The Importance of Starting the Process Early
As with anything you want your child to practice throughout life, the sooner you begin, the better they’ll do. Think about teaching your child to say please, thank you, and I’m sorry. You began teaching these habits as early as possible so that it will be second nature. Oral health should be handled the same way.
The sooner you help your child create a healthy oral hygiene habit, the easier it will be for your child to maintain that habit throughout their entire life. Let’s begin by considering what is needed for your baby’s teeth.
Caring for Baby Teeth
Baby teeth are much more important than many parents realize. Those baby teeth are actually place holders and guides for the adult teeth. If they are lost too early, the adult teeth lose their way and orthodontics are required. Prevent orthodontics when necessary by following some of the following tips.
Cleaning Gums – Oral hygiene begins before your baby even has teeth. Keep your baby’s gums clean and prepared for teeth to break through by gently rubbing a cool, clean cloth on the gums during bath time.
Easing Pain of Teeth – Don’t be surprised if your sweet, happy baby suddenly turns into a drooling, upset mess! This usually happens between four and six months when the first tooth begins to break through the gums. A cool cloth and cold chewy toys can help to ease the discomfort of teething.
Brushing – As soon as teeth are present, you should be cleaning them. You can continue to use the clean cloth mentioned above for a few months before switching to a finger brush.
Training a Toddler
It won’t be long before your baby isn’t a baby any longer. The first birthday will pass, crawls will turn into walking, and words will begin to escape from that sweet little mouth. Along with those changes come changes in the way you care for your little one’s teeth. Check below to see what we mean!
“No, I do it!” – Most toddlers come with an intensely independent spirit. As they grow confident, they will ask to do more on their own, like brushing their teeth. Encourage their independence, but be sure that they are adequately brushing their teeth by taking turns brushing and making the experience fun!
Flossers – It’s next to impossible for a toddler to floss well with traditional floss. Instead, we recommend that you grab a package of flossers to keep the spaces between those little teeth perfectly clean.
The First Visit – Around two years of age, it will be time for your little one to come in for their first appointment. We try to keep that visit very light-hearted and fun. We won’t pressure your child to do anything uncomfortable for them, but we can try again at the next appointment!
Make an Appointment
Check back later in the month when we tackle the special dental concerns for older kids. Until then, call our office to set up an appointment for you or your child. We can’t wait to help you have a happier, healthier smile for the years to come! Contact us today!