Dental care for children is vital for so many reasons. It plays a pivotal role in establishing lifelong habits that ultimately contribute to healthy teeth and gums. This isn’t just about ensuring a great smile, although that’s a big part of the equation that they will come to value even more as they grow up.
At this age, making dental care a priority sets the tone for a lifetime of proper oral hygiene — and that’s invaluable, as many studies have found that dental health has a powerful link to overall health. From brushing teeth properly to visiting the dentist regularly, these dental care habits set your child up for excellent oral health throughout their lives.
Proper Dental Care Habits for Kids
- Brushing Regularly
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing at least twice a day and flossing once per day. Kids should use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, brushing for at least two minutes and going over each quadrant of the mouth for 30 seconds. Fluoride is important because it may decrease the risk of developing cavities and promote tooth remineralization. Just a small, pea-sized amount is enough, as you want to help them avoid swallowing toothpaste.
- Flossing Daily
When your child has teeth that touch each other, it’s time to start flossing. This usually happens between the ages of two and four. You’ll need to floss their teeth when they’re very young, but as they grow older you can teach them how to use a floss pick or to guide the dental floss between their teeth.
- See the Dentist
The ADA recommends that kids see a dentist by the time they turn one year of age, or whenever the first tooth erupts. During the appointment, the dentist will explain best practices for baby dental care, and show you the most effective and gentle way to care for your little one’s gums and emerging teeth. This is a good start that will shape their oral hygiene for years to come and set them up for great dental care habits for a lifetime.
Why Early Dental Care Matters
Just as you prioritize regular visits to the pediatrician’s office, it’s important to take your child to the dentist every year. During these formative years, their baby teeth have taken root, but will eventually be replaced by their adult teeth. How you help them care for their teeth and gums now will play a vital role in their dental health in the future. Here’s why you should highlight these visits during their childhood years.
- Develop Good Habits Early
It’s often fear of the unknown that creates a fear of the dentist. Establishing a habit of seeing the dentist regularly from an early age is a simple way to help them grow accustomed to the environment. Simply being familiar with the faces, the atmosphere, and the general steps involved in an appointment from start to finish can make all the difference to a child’s confidence in seeing the dentist.
- Identify Dental Problems Early
The sooner a dental health concern is identified, the easier it is to treat. That’s especially true of cavities, which worsen with time and may eventually lead to gum disease if left untreated. While periodontal disease is most common among adults, children can develop the early stage of the disease known as gingivitis. Dentists can even identify bite issues early. Depending on the type of concern, they might then recommend a preventative or interventional measure to prevent the problem entirely or reduce the severity.
- Prevent Costly Future Care
Prioritizing dental health is vital no matter a person’s age, but getting started early is the best way to help a child avoid future concerns with their teeth and gums. In fact, seeing the dentist regularly is so helpful in preventing more serious issues that it can reduce treatment costs — and spare children from potentially uncomfortable appointments and procedures.
Dentistry for Kids at 376 Dental Studio
If you’re seeking a reliable dentist in Waltham for your child, you can rely on 376 Dental Studio. We’re committed to providing your child with a positive experience from their very first visit — and that begins with happy faces and a great environment where they feel comfortable and relaxed. We’re here to answer any questions you might have, too. Give us a call at 781-373-3068 to speak with our team and schedule an appointment, or visit us online to learn more about our children’s dentistry services.