Unfortunately, parenting doesn’t actually come with a guidebook, so it can be hard to juggle all the things we need to do to keep kids healthy and happy from birth. When it comes to oral health, it’s really pretty simple. It’s never too early to start taking care of your baby’s teeth and gums, and dental visits should start around age 1. If you can remember those two things, you’re all set on the path to a lifetime of great oral health for your child.
Keeping teeth and gums clean and teaching healthy habits starts early. You can begin wiping your baby’s gums with a washcloth to remove milk residue very early on. As soon as teeth start appearing, usually around age 1, you can brush your baby’s teeth with a soft child-size brush with water and a tiny amount of non-fluoride toothpaste. Children should receive assistance when brushing or at least be supervised to ensure they’re doing a good job, usually until age 8, depending on the child.
Even though it may seem like they don’t need dental care in the beginning, it’s important to start your child’s dental visit by age 1. This helps create healthy habits and builds a positive relationship between your child and dentist. It also gives the dentist a chance to keep an eye out for any problems and catch them very early on.
Many public water systems today have fluoride added. Dr. Norman believes each family should choose whether they want to ingest fluoride themselves or not. It has many benefits, especially when it comes to protecting teeth, but it can also be harmful in large doses. For instance, sometimes pediatricians give children fluoride supplements without knowing whether the water they drink every day is full of fluoride. This can lead to fluorosis and cause white marks on the teeth.
For more information on caring for your child’s teeth or for any questions or product recommendations, please call us today at (425) 212-1986.