Oral Care for Infants and Toddlers – A Parent’s Guide

It is never early to start caring for your child’s teeth. Getting a dentist involved from the very beginning will ensure that your child has great oral and dental health. Proper dental care and hygiene from the eruption of the very first tooth is the key to a future of healthy and happy smiles.

Dental Care for Babies

As babies have no or very few teeth, many parents don’t pay sufficient attention to their oral health. However, since the teeth are still developing, it is necessary to take proper care. This will ensure that the teeth are strong and healthy. The gums and the milk teeth lay the foundation for healthy teeth and should be taken proper care of.

Whenever you feed your child, it is important to wipe the baby’s gums with a clean washcloth or gauze. Alternatively, you can use a toothbrush for infants.

The first tooth generally appears at about six months. It is recommended that you should schedule an appointment with the dentist after this. You should choose a pediatric dentist in Sun Prairie as they specialize in children’s dentistry. To know more about planning the first visit to the dentist, please refer to the article.

When more teeth appear, you will need to clean them with an infant-safe fluoride toothpaste. Use an infant brush and use a rice-sized amount of toothpaste. Do not let the baby swallow toothpaste. While the fluoride is important for the teeth, it can upset their stomach.

Also, remember to clean the baby’s teeth after the last bottle of the day. This will prevent the decaying of teeth due to the sugar on the bottle.

Dental Care for Toddlers

The primary teeth of your child should appear by age 3. By age 6, the permanent teeth will start to appear one by one. To maintain proper dental and oral health, you should get your child into the habit of brushing and flossing twice a day. Use a child-safe fluoride toothpaste in pea-sized amount. Just like for babies, children should not swallow the toothpaste either.

You child should have his or her first cleaning at 2 or 3 years of age. You should begin regular visits to the dentist after that.

Healthy Diet for Healthy Teeth

A healthy diet is important not only for the overall health of your child but also for sound dental and oral health. Sodas, juice and candies contain acids and sugars. These should be cleaned off the teeth at the earliest. Always try to limit your child’s intake of sticky, sugary and acidic food and drinks like sodas, sticky candies, raisins etc. also, encourage your child to eat healthy snacks like apples, broccoli, carrots and celery. These have a natural ability to remove plaque off the teeth.

Getting Your Child Ready for Dental Check-ups

It is normal for children to have a fear of the dentist. They can be anxious about the unknown or simply scared if the dentist is going to hurt them. To encourage your child for the check-ups and make the dental visit pleasurable for them, here are some things you can try:

    • Always schedule an appointment at a time they are alert. Avoid meal and nap times.
    • Don’t let people share scary dental stories to your child.
    • Don’t seem anxious about the visit.
    • Do not try to threaten or bribe your child into going to the dentist.
    • Choose a clinic offering pediatric dental services in Sun Prairie

Making the dental appointment a happy experience is not only important but also beneficial. This will ensure that the child will not be afraid of visiting the dentist during a dental emergency. Stressing the importance of healthy gums and teeth from an early age will pave the way for a lifetime of good oral habits.