Here at Williams Lake Smiles, we enjoy helping our adult patients discover dental procedures that transform their smiles. But that doesn’t mean we neglect our smaller patients either! We believe that good dental habits start young, and have compiled a list of tips for new parents out there who are getting started with their child’s dental care. From infancy to around age 5 are crucial years that could influence the development and health of your child. Join us in Williams Lake, BC and take a look at our list below!
Even when your baby has no teeth yet, you should start accustoming them to oral care. This can be done through using a soft washcloth to wipe down your baby’s gums after feeding, or giving them a cold teething ring when they are developing teething habits. By keeping these gums clear and clean, your child will in turn produce healthy teeth.
After your child’s first teeth start to erupt (typically around 6 to 12 months) this is when you can start using very small amounts of children’s toothpaste. Keep these teeth clean, and start bringing your child to a dentist or pediatric dentist to ensure their dental care is going smoothly. By the time your child reaches age 3, they should have all their teeth present.
“Baby bottle tooth decay” is when your child obtains cavities at a young age, due to using bottles or sippy cups of juice or formula frequently. These liquids are okay in moderation, but if you don’t clean your child’s teeth often, the sugar can lead to decay.
As your child reaches their toddler years, start instilling good dental habits, like routine brushing and flossing. We recommend that you do these activities with them, so they can copy what you do. Beware of bad habits too: too much sugar in juices and sweets, thumb sucking, and more. These can potentially alter the positioning and health of their teeth. Continue to bring them to the dentist for routine check-ups, so they become familiar with dental offices.
As your child ages, they will start to lose their baby teeth after age 6. Talk to your child about this process, and explain how they are not losing their teeth forever, and new permanent teeth will be taking their place. Continue to teach them good brushing and flossing habits, and teach them about common dental diseases like tooth decay or gum disease. They’ll begin to understand how important it is to care for their teeth, especially as they start brushing and flossing on their own.
Are you a new parent, and just getting started on dental care with your child? Feel free to ask us any questions you might have! In addition, be sure to pay attention to your own dental care, keeping a lookout for tooth decay, gum disease and more. Schedule appointments and hygiene cleanings here at Williams Lake Smiles with Dr. Wassenaar.