The first few years of your little hero’s life are the most important. This will be the period he or she develops important dental habits, which will carry on into adulthood. Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry has a few things to watch out for as your child embarks on his/her dental journey into adulthood.
Start healthy dental hygiene habits today by contacting Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry!
Your baby may not have teeth yet, but you can begin providing dental care by rubbing their gums clean with a small towel or gauze. Wrap the material around your finger and gently wipe their gums clean of any leftover food. This also allows your baby to get used to the idea of cleaning its own teeth. Using a toothbrush should come easy after baby teeth start to grow.
It might be tempting to kiss your baby on the mouth or feed him or her with your spoon, but dentists advise against it. Bacteria is transmitted through saliva with kisses and shared eating utensils, which can cause cavities. Baby mouths are much more vulnerable to bacteria and infections.
As your little hero’s teeth begin to grow, they are bound to have soreness in their gums. Help ease the pain by rubbing and massaging their gums with a cold compress. You can also invest in a teething ring. Pop it in the fridge for a bit and let your baby bite gently on it. Don’t have a teething ring? A cold washcloth will do the trick, too.
Schedule the first trip to the dentist on your child’s first birthday or when their first tooth appears. The first appointment doesn’t have to be a cleaning. It’s recommended that you get your little hero acquainted with the Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry staff. The more he/she becomes familiar with the dentist’s office, the less likely they will be uncomfortable sitting in the dentist’s chair during future visits.
Toddlers and preschoolers should brush twice a day for two minutes each session. Make sure to use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste with fluoride and replace brushes every four months. Does your little hero hate brushing? Get creative!
Wean your Little Hero off the bottle at 12 to 18 months and try and put a stop to pacifiers and thumb sucking. Bottles and pacifiers can be calming for him or her, but sucking habits can interfere with a child’s jaw growth and tooth alignment.
It’s important to pack a healthy lunch for your little hero. Stay away from cavity-producing sweets and choose fruits, veggies and proteins. Try sticking with peanut butter, cheese, turkey or roast beef. Don’t fall for sports or fruit-flavored drinks as they contain loads of sugar. Water is all your child needs to stay hydrated and it can help wash away any food residue.
If your kids are in sports, make sure to invest in mouth guards. Most contact sports like football, boxing, soccer, ice hockey and basketball require the use of mouth guards to prevent injuries to the jaw or teeth.
Children begin losing their teeth at about the age of five or six. Usually it’s the bottom front teeth that begin to fall out first. Encourage your little hero to wiggle that first loose tooth with their tongue, but never allow them to yank it out. The Tooth Fairy should leave an appropriate amount for their good dental habits and for their tooth, of course!
The Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry team is here to help your child make his/her journey into adulthood as smoothly as possible. Keep our number handy in case you have any questions about your child’s dental hygiene. Instilling good dental habits in a child will lead to healthy teeth for life. Start healthy dental hygiene habits today!