As a parent, you not only nurture and love your child, you also ensure their physical health, in which oral health plays a big role. Here’s a quick guide to keeping your child’s smile its brightest and most healthy.
Daily Routine For Babies
- Even before the teeth appear, pour warm water on a soft piece of gauze or a “baby washcloth” (thinner and soften).
- Wipe their gums gently to remove bacteria on their gums (it is there the moment they drink milk).
- Get your child used to having something in their mouth touching their gums.
When The First Tooth Appears
- Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, clean the tooth – and subsequent teeth as they emerge.
- Use a very, very small amount of toothpaste (like a grain of rice) as wee ones can’t spit it out. As every child is different, we’ll guide you in what type to use.
- When your child can spit, talk to us for a professional perspective on fluoridated toothpastes.
- Floss your child’s teeth as soon as they have two teeth side-by-side as they have the same risk of damage caused by plaque and food residue as adults.
- Never put a child to bed with anything but water.
- Help your child brush until they have the dexterity to do it accurately and thoroughly on their own. How old your child is when they can do this varies. Often, it correlates with…
When Your Older Child Can Write Their Name
- When your child has increased dexterity, it’s time for them to take over brushing, flossing, and rinsing.
- Brush teeth at least twice a day, and especially before bedtime. Increase toothpaste volume to that of a small pea.
- Again, only provide water at bedtime.
- Floss once a day. By this time, they should begin flossing themselves.
- Always supervise. Kids need their parents to remind them, encourage them, assist them, and then inspect the excellent job.
Tweens & Teens
- They’re independently brushing and flossing but do need reminders (sometimes constant!) to take care of their teeth.
- What motivates teens to achieve a good oral hygiene routine? Discussing the importance of fresh breath.
Children’s care for primary teeth is important because…
- Primary teeth allow the introduction of food from various groups, providing nutrition and enjoyment.
- They give shape to your child’s face.
- Baby teeth also guide the emergence of permanent teeth, critical when learning to eat and speak.
- They have thinner enamel (the outside, white layer of the tooth) than adult teeth which puts them at risk for early childhood tooth decay.
- Children can get gum disease when plaque and tartar are allowed to build up.
- Clean teeth are socially expected.
- Establishing an excellent home care routine for kids sets them up for a lifetime of benefits from a healthy mouth, confidence, and a beautiful smile.
What causes decay? Sugars (anything ending in “ose”) feeds the bacteria that secrete acids that cause decay. When teeth are not cleaned well and regularly, decay sets in, causing pain, unsightly discoloration, and bad breath. Decay can interrupt your child’s ability to sleep, eat,or speak. It can also affect their concentration and learning.
At Village Green Dental, We’re Here To Help!
Always welcoming children to our practice, we enjoy their vibrancy and curiosity. It’s the perfect age to skillfully and effectively instill pride in a healthy mouth. As your Aurora dentist, we’re trained to work with children using words they understand and a friendly and non-threatening approach … and to bring some fun into the visit.
Regular appointments also ensure we can intercept any issues and keep your child’s teeth healthy from infancy all the way up to adulthood and beyond.
A healthy mouth starts from day one. Call Village Green Dental, your dentist in Aurora, at 630-449-3079 to book an appointment for your child!
What Happens At A Regular Recall Appointment For Your Child?
- Welcome – It’s always the best part of our day – welcoming patients to our practice. And when our patients are kids, we take some extra time to ensure they feel extra comfortable. We’ll speak to them directly, ask them questions, and if they have questions of their own, we’ll answer them. Kids often get stressed when they’re rushed, so we ensure we treat them with patience and genuine care.
- Exam – Your child’s hygienist will guide them to the chair and ensure their comfort. Next, they’ll examine your child’s mouth –teeth, gums, and all soft tissue (palate, cheeks, tongue, etc.). If there is a concern, a doctor visit will be requested.
- Cleaning – Any built-up plaque that has hardened into tartar or calculus will be removed gently and teeth will be flossed and polished.
- Education – We’ll give your child an age-appropriate refresher on homecare which may include all or some of the following: brushing techniques, how to floss, rinsing, the best food choices, safety and the importance of wearing mouthguards, and fresh breath, which is something that really motivates teens to take care of their smile.
- Discussion – If we find anything that needs to be addressed (e.g. fillings, space maintainers, etc.), we’ll discuss it right in the exam room, with your child and with you. Our discussions aren’t always about the care that needs to be done that’s identified that day, but what we can both do in terms of prevention.For example, we can make a custom-fitted mouthguard to protect smiles when playing sports, apply sealants to protect against cavities in molars, address future orthodontic requirements, and more.
6. Wrap-Up – There’s always praise to be given, and we’ll make sure your child feels good about self-care and “coming to the dentist,” two things that are so important to their healthy future. We’ll always