How to Take Care of Your Child's Teeth as They Grow
Children need the right pediatric dental care so they can maintain healthy smiles for life. How you take care of your child's teeth and gums now can affect their oral hygiene habits years later. For this reason, it's important you call our pediatric dentists.
Our pediatric dentists will be able to take care of your child's teeth so they can maintain a healthy smile. Continue reading to learn how your child's oral health needs will change as they age. Please contact us today with any additional questions or concerns you may have regarding your child's dental care.
Caring for Your Child's Teeth
0-2 Years Old
Children tend to get their first baby teeth around 6 to 8 months of age. Once this happens, you'll need to brush your baby's teeth twice a day to remove plaque. Our pediatric dentists recommend you use fluoridated toothpaste to strengthen enamel. That way, your child will be able to avoid cavities. Use a smear of toothpaste about the size of a rice grain.
Make sure your child doesn't fall asleep with their bottle still in their mouth. This bad habit can lead to what our pediatric dentists call "baby bottle tooth decay." Even breast milk has natural sugars in it that can decay teeth. This is why it's important to brush your child's teeth before you tuck them into bed. Otherwise, that sugar will sit on your child's teeth for hours until morning.
Schedule your child's first dentist appointment as soon as they get their first tooth, but no later than their first birthday. That way, you'll be able to help your child adopt good oral hygiene habits as early in life as possible.
You should start flossing as soon as your child has teeth that touch. Yet, many young children lack the dexterity to floss their own teeth. As the parent, it'll be your responsibility to floss between teeth and remove plaque. Flossing at a young age will also help your child understand the importance of good oral hygiene.
3-5 Years Old
It's never too late to schedule an appointment for your child to see one of our pediatric dentists. Ourhave received special training so they can treat young patients. We understand that your child may feel some anxiety about being in a strange new environment. This is why we do everything we can to help your child feel at ease in the dentist's chair.
Your child will still need help brushing their teeth. We recommend watching them to make sure they brush teeth for the whole two minutes. That way, your child won't neglect brushing back teeth. Our pediatric dentists also recommend dental sealants to prevent cavities in back teeth. Getting is simple and painless.
6-11 Years Old
Your child should start to lose their baby teeth around age 6. During this time, it's especially important that your child take care of their teeth and gums. Our pediatric dentists can help your child form good oral hygiene habits to last a lifetime.
At this age, our pediatric dentists may refer your child to a trusted orthodontist. An orthodontist can straighten teeth and correct issues with your child's bite. Orthodontic treatment affects much more than your child's appearance. For example, your child may need braces to correct an overbite that could cause uneven wear on teeth.
12-18 Years Old
Wisdom teeth will start to form in your child's jaw around age 10. Yet, these wisdom teeth won't erupt until your child is in their late teens to early twenties. Our pediatric dentists can track the trajectory of your child's wisdom teeth.
We may recommend wisdom tooth extraction if these third molars are coming in crooked. Your child may also not have enough room in their jaw for their wisdom teeth. Either way, our pediatric dentists will extract wisdom teeth before they cause problems.
18+ Years Old
Congratulations! Your child is about to "graduate" from our dental practice. As your child approaches age 18, you or your child will need to start looking for a new dentist. Under the Affordable Care Act, your child will be able to stay on your dental insurance up to age 26. This will give your son or daughter the time they need to get established so there is no lapse in coverage.