Having children means you suddenly have a lot of responsibility. One of these responsibilities is maintaining their dental health. Even before your baby has teeth, there are steps you can take to prepare him or her for life-long dental health. Below, you’ll find some tips that will help you to protect your children’s teeth throughout their lives.
Birth to One Year
For the first six months of your baby’s life, all you need to do to promote dental health is to ensure he has plenty of nutrition. For a baby so young, that means plenty of breast milk or formula. In addition, you should avoid leaving the baby alone with his bottle as this can result in the baby sucking on the bottle long after it’s empty, which can cause teeth to come in crooked.
At about six months, your baby will start to get his first teeth. When this happens, you should schedule your first visit with a pediatric dentist. You should also begin to very gently brush the baby’s gums with a soft-bristle tooth brush that has just been dampened with water.
One Year to Six Years
Start teaching your baby about the importance of dental health from an early age. This can be as simple as picking up a few children’s books at your local library that will teach your child why healthy teeth matter.
During this time, you’ll also need to brush your child’s teeth for him while he watches you in the mirror. You should consult your pediatric dentist to determine what type of toothpaste and how much of it you should use. You should also be taking your child to the dentist for checkups about every six months as well as if you ever suspect a cavity has formed.
It’s also a good idea to brush your own teeth in front of your child so that he can see you care about the health of your own teeth.
Six Years to Eleven Years
During this time, your child should lose his baby teeth and they should be replaced by adult teeth. The exact timing of losing teeth and growing new ones is different for every child. By six years of age, your child should also be brushing his own teeth, although you may wish to supervise to be sure he is not missing any areas of his mouth. As your child grows, you should be able to trust him to brush his teeth well since you have been teaching him the importance of doing so since he was a child.
Eleven Years and Up
You should be able to trust your child to care for his own dental health independently. It is still important, however, to take him for dental checkups every six months. Once all of his adult teeth have come in, it may also be necessary to take him to an orthodontist for braces. You should also continue to have occasional conversations about the importance of dental health.
We hope these tips will help you to raise kids who are set up for life-long dental health. When it’s time for their dental checkups, be sure to give us a call!