Here at Sunshine Pediatric Dentistry, we believe that brushing from the very beginning, even before teeth appear, is so important. It is crucial to instill these habits in your child at a young age because these habits can follow a person around their entire life. Good oral hygiene habits start with the proper education of both parents and their children. Oral hygiene depends greatly on brushing; however, a child’s diet and eating habits are also a huge contributing factor. Balancing your child’s diet with fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry ("Frequently Asked Questions", 2017).
According to Delta Dental, “Early Childhood Caries is caused by the frequent and long-term exposure of a child's teeth to liquids containing sugars. Among these liquids are milk, formula, fruit juice, sodas and other sweetened drinks ("What’s Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?", January 2012).” After consumption of these liquids, sugar can begin to pool around your child’s teeth and gums, causing decay and plaque accumulation. In order to help prevent Early Childhood Caries, never let your child fall asleep with a bottle in his/her mouth that contains formula, milk, juices, sodas or other sugary liquids. If you must give your child a bottle at bed time, be sure that it only contains water. We recommend that a child is weaned off a bottle as soon as they can drink from a cup. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry also recommends that pacifier or thumb sucking habits should be discontinued around age one.
It is important to wipe down the gums with a soft cloth or baby tooth brush and water to remove any bacteria that leads to decay before bedtime or naps. Once your baby’s first tooth erupts, you can start brushing with a thin smear, about the size of a rice grain, amount of children’s toothpaste that contains fluoride. Brushing twice a day, if not after ever meal, is always recommended by dentists. Make brushing a fun activity by joining in with your child and brushing together. She/he might be more open to brushing when they see you doing it. You can also motivate your child to brush by making a chart and putting stickers on it after every brush!
Regular check-ups and cleanings are another huge part of oral hygiene habits. Checkups with your Pediatric dentist can help detect and treat decay before it gets out of control. Creating a strong relationship with a dentist can also help with any dental anxiety or fear that your toddler might have when it comes to brushing their teeth. Dr. Jaclyn Bae is committed to helping you educate your child with good oral hygiene habits from the very beginning. Sunshine Pediatric Dentistry is the perfect place to create a dental home for your child! During your visit with us, Dr. Bae will go over some more techniques and suggestions to help your child maintain a healthy mouth from the start! For more information on our office, please visit our website: www.sunshinekidsdentistry.com !
Frequently asked questions. (2017). Retrieved from http://www.aapd.org/resources/frequently_asked_questions/