Regular dental exams play a critical role in preventative dental care, setting your child up for a lifetime of happy and healthy smiles.
Your child should be going for a dental exam and cleaning once per year starting around their first birthday. If your child has a high risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease your dentist may suggest that they visit more often.
During your child’s dental exam the dentist and dental hygienist will clean your child’s teeth and look for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. If necessary, the dentist may also have x-rays taken of your child’s teeth and jaw and perform other diagnostic procedures. Your dentist may also treat your child’s teeth with fluoride to prevent tooth decay and apply a sealant to your child’s teeth. Sealants act as a protective barrier, bonding to the grooves and depressions in each tooth and shielding the enamel.
Your dentist or dental hygienist may also discuss your child’s diet and oral hygiene habits and review proper brushing and flossing techniques.
Children begin to get their first teeth between the ages of six and nine months old, and as any parent knows teething can make children irritable. Gently massaging your child’s gums, applying a small cool spoon, or letting your child chew on a teething ring that has been placed in the fridge are all great ways to help reduce the gum irritation associated with teething.
As soon as your child’s first teeth emerge they can start getting cavities. Infections of any kind, including abscessed teeth or gum disease, can compromise your child’s immune system. Untreated cavities in babies and small children may escalate to the point where they need to be treated using major surgery.
Here are a few simple and effective things you can do to help ensure your child stays happy and healthy:
Early childhood is a great time to teach good habits and lay the foundation for lifelong oral hygiene. Your child’s first tooth will appear between the ages of six and nine months, and their baby teeth will continue to emerge until about three years old. Gently massaging your child’s gums, applying a small cool spoon, or letting your child chew on a teething ring that has been placed in the fridge are all great ways to help reduce the gum irritation associated with teething.
To help protect your child’s teeth and gums, and promote healthy dental habits you should:
Children under the age of three should have their teeth brushed for them twice a day by an adult and should not use toothpaste. You should only brush with fluoride toothpaste before the age of three if it is recommended by their dentist, and even then you should only use a minimal amount. A dab of toothpaste approximately the size of a grain of rice is sufficient.
Children between the ages of three and six can brush their own teeth with adult assistance. Your child only needs a small amount of toothpaste, a portion about the size of a pea, and you should encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste as opposed to swallowing it.
Children begin to get their permanent teeth between the ages of six and eight, and most children will have all of their permanent teeth (aside from their wisdom teeth) by the age of thirteen. To help prevent gum disease and tooth decay your child should:
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