Care for Your Child’s Teeth
Teeth require both day-to-day care and regularly scheduled professional care to maintain their health and beauty. In recent years, childhood cavities and tooth decay have become more prevalent issues than ever before, even though all it takes to eradicate the risk of both is a simple oral care routine.
Besides at-home maintenance of the child’s teeth, scheduling “well baby” checkups with the Brooklyn pediatric dentist twice a year is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) for children over the age of 12 months.
How do pediatric dentists care for children’s teeth?
Pediatric dentists perform thorough examinations of children’s oral cavities, looking for signs of tooth decay, orthodontic concerns, or issues with tooth and jaw development. During the routine visit, the Brooklyn Dentist will also clean the child’s teeth and in some cases, topical fluoride may be applied to protect the child’s tooth enamel.
Afterward, the dentist will provide dental resources to the parent to help with dental maintenance until the child’s next visit. They will also demonstrate good flossing and brushing techniques, dietary advice, and tips for thumb sucking and pacifier cessation.
If the dentist deems it necessary, they may utilize several additional tools at hand to help reduce the child’s risk of dental problems such as dental sealants. Dental sealants are an important tool in the fight against tooth decay. They cover fissures in the teeth and seal out food particles, bacteria, and acid. Depending on the child’s oral habits, dental sealants can last as long as a few years. Dental sealants are commonly applied to new molars in children between the ages of two and three.
How can you care for your child’s teeth at home?
Maintaining proper brushing and flossing habits is key to ensuring that your child has healthy teeth, but that’s only the beginning of a good oral care routine. The following factors should be considered as well:
Oral habits – Both pacifier use and thumb sucking can cause teeth misalignment. They may also lead to narrow roof arches and crowding. If your child struggles with thumb sucking, their pediatric dentist can suggest a helpful dental strategy, or provide a dental appliance or orthodontically correct pacifier to limit tooth damage.
General oral hygiene – Harmful bacteria can transfer from the parent’s mouth to the child’s mouth through the sharing of eating utensils. Parents may also clean their child’s pacifier by sucking on it themselves, which leads to harmful bacteria transfer. Anything that goes into your child’s mouth should be washed with warm water to avoid the transfer of bacteria.
Diet – Sugary diets produce more harmful acids in children’s mouths, submitting their tooth enamel, gum tissue, and bone to more erosion. Switch your child to a healthier diet and discourage frequent snacking. If your child is hungry, give them a non-sugary snack like carrot sticks, celery sticks, or low-fat yogurt.
Use of sippy cups – Drinking from sippy cups leads to the swirling of liquids around the teeth, allowing for continual attacks of the tooth enamel if sippy cups are filled with sugary liquids. Children between the ages of twelve and fourteen months should be transitioning to regular drinking glasses.
Brushing – Twice a day, children’s teeth should be brushed using a soft-bristled brush and a pea-sized amount of ADA-approved toothpaste. Parents must help children under the age of seven brush their teeth. Non-fluoridated toothpaste should be used for children under the age of two. The gums should be cleaned with a wet cloth after each feeding.
Flossing – Children’s teeth should be flossed to prevent cavities and tooth decay between the teeth. A pediatric dentist can instruct you on the best way to floss your child’s teeth and tips on how to make flossing fun.
Fluoride – Fluoride is key when it comes to preventing tooth decay and maintaining shiny white teeth. It promotes the remineralization of tooth enamel and prevents mineral loss. Talk to your child’s dentist about how much fluoride they should be receiving. The dentist may provide supplements if deemed necessary.
To express your questions or concerns about childhood tooth maintenance, talk to Brooklyn Dentist, and feel free to call our staff at 1st Impression Dental.