Did you know that healthy baby teeth are key for allowing adult teeth to come through smoothly?
This means there is never a more important time to protect your teeth than when you’re a child, because baby teeth form the framework for adult teeth to properly come through.
Top reasons for protecting baby teeth
Protecting baby teeth sets up the best chances for your child to have good dental health in the future. From even before the very first tooth comes through, you should begin cleaning your child’s mouth.
Reasons for ensuring good dental hygiene for your child, includes:
- Healthy adult teeth: protecting your child’s baby teeth against decay and other issues is crucial, as they directly affect adult teeth. If a baby tooth is lost due to cavities and decay, chances of crowding problems with adult teeth are increased. Baby teeth should naturally fall out when adult teeth begin coming through.
- Speech development: teeth help control the flow of air exiting the mouth to create different sounds. Your child will learn to create different sounds while moving their tongue to different locations against their teeth.
- Healthy smile: ensuring your child has healthy teeth and gums protects them against decay and other issues. Your child wants a healthy smile, because it feels good and looks good.
- Chewing: your child needs their baby teeth to be able to chew food properly.
Why children’s dental visits are important:
Your child must visit the dentist as early as possible, so that they can grow up feeling comfortable with visiting the dentist. To do so, you must remain calm and never use the dentist as a threat or punishment, as this only displays visiting the dentist as something negative. This will only turn your child off wanting dental checkups for a healthy mouth.
The very first dental appointment for your child should happen before the age of two or shortly after the first baby tooth comes through.
First dental appointment:
During the first appointment, the dentist will get to know you and your child’s medical history. Your child will usually undergo a visual oral exam, so that the dentist can examine their teeth, gums and overall mouth.
The dentist will be assessing your child to identify any risks for dental decay and other developmental issues.
Very rarely will x-rays be taken at young ages, especially during the first appointment, unless there is an urgent issue, or the dentist wants to examine adult teeth for alignment issues.
The last great thing about the dental appointment is that the dentist will answer any of your questions and tell you exactly how to take care of your child’s mouth.
The dentist will discuss:
- Infant feeding advice (nutrition to strengthen teeth and avoid sweets)
- Baby bottle tooth decay
- Tooth decay risks and prevention
- Dental cleaning for children
- Bad oral habits (dummy and thumb sucking)
- Potential bite issues
- Teething (baby teeth coming through)
After the initial appointment, it is important to take your child along to the dentist for regular checkups every six months or sooner if required.
How to clean baby teeth:
Even before your infant begins teething, you should be wiping their gums to clean away harmful bacteria.
You should be brushing your child’s teeth twice a day with a wet cloth or soft bristled small toothbrush, from when the first tooth comes through. It is also important to begin flossing once there are two teeth that connect with one another.
At about 18 months of age, it is safe to begin using a child safe low fluoride toothpaste as this strengthens tooth enamel.
It is important to clean your child’s teeth until they are about seven years of age, when they can brush their teeth themselves, however you should still supervise them.
If your child wants to brush themselves before this age, let them as they will have fun, however you must do a more thorough clean after they are finished.
The friendly staff at Iris Dental love taking care of young smiles to ensure they have good oral health in the future. If you have any questions about children’s dentistry or any other dental issues, please contact us here.