When your son or daughter starts out with a healthy smile and good oral habits, they are less likely to need extensive dental care later on in their adult life. Getting the right start at an early age is extremely important. Here are some things for you to keep in mind when it comes to promoting strong teeth and cavity-free smiles for your child:
Schedule a Dental Check-Up by Age 1
Your child’s first dental visit should take place by their first birthday (or by the time the first tooth erupts.) These early visits allow your child’s dentist to screen for problems that are simpler to reverse or treat at earlier stages. When regular visits are “stress-free” and “pain-free,” your child becomes more comfortable with visiting the dental office - giving them a positive outlook on visits in the future.
Help Your Child Brush and Floss
Until your child is old enough to tie his or her own shoes, they need help brushing and flossing. It’s fine to let them try on their own, but be sure to follow up after them to ensure that all of the plaque and food debris has been removed. Plaque is often overlooked along the gumlines, especially around the back teeth.
Limit Juices, Sports Drinks and Soda
Regardless of whether or not the drink is “healthy” or “sugar free,” these types of drinks contain acids, natural or artificial sweeteners that can lead to more progressive tooth decay in a very short period of time. Encourage your child to drink plenty of tap water - which has supplemental fluoride to help teeth resist decay. If your child hasn’t ever been seen by a dentist or is experiencing dental problems - don’t put it off until it’s too late. Schedule a preventive visit and exam for them today!