Children require different forms of care and nurturing as they grow. You begin by doing everything for your child and then gradually teach them how to do things on their own. Caring for their teeth is no exception. Here are some tips from the family dentist in Washington on how to properly care for your children’s smiles as they go from infancy, childhood to the teen years.
Take Care of that Gummy Smile
Even before your baby has teeth, it’s important to provide oral health care. Clean your baby’s gums after every feeding whether they are bottle or breastfed. Just take a soft washcloth dipped in lukewarm water and gently rub their gums. This removes the sugars that are in formula and breast milk.
Brush Those First Teeth
When should you start brushing your child’s teeth? The moment you see that first pearly white erupt through gum tissue. Use a small toothbrush with soft bristles that is moistened with warm water. There’s no need to use toothpaste until your child is old enough to spit, which is usually around the age of two or three years old. And be sure to schedule a visit to the dentist in Washington by the time your child is a year.
Once your child is a toddler, he or she may enjoy choosing a toothbrush and toothpaste in a favorite flavor. This is a great way to get them involved in their own oral health care. And while toddlers often want to “do it myself,” parents really do need to supervise and participate in oral hygiene care until children are seven or eight years old.
Once your children start school, their lives become a whirlwind of class, clubs, hobbies and homework. Although they should be able to brush and floss on their own, they may need you to remind them to do it twice a day. Also, teach you children to select healthy snacks such as yogurt, hard cheeses, fresh fruits and vegetables and nuts. Young children typically need an energy boost in between meals, and these choices are far better than cookies, cakes and candy.
Children will begin to lose their teeth during their elementary years. Just because teeth will be replaced doesn’t mean they don’t need good oral health care. Keep up with your children’s visits to the dentist near me.
The Teenage Years
Now is the time that your son or daughter will be very self-conscious about their appearance. Your family dentist in Washington will be able to guide you if orthodontic braces are necessary. And now is not the time to back out of your maturing child’s oral health care. Make sure they visit the dentist regularly for checkups.
For more advice on how to raise children who have healthy smiles, contact your dentist in Washington.
Meet the Doctor
Dr. James Mace is a family dentist in Washington, MO. He and his staff are committed to ensuring the health, beauty and longevity of every smile in your family. If you need to schedule an appointment for yourself or one of your children, contact us today.