Parents are often unsure of when to take their child to the dentist and have many other questions about their child’s oral health. We put together a guide for parents on how you can best care for your child’s oral health throughout their early years.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), you should start bringing your child to the dentist regularly by your child’s first birthday or when their first tooth emerges.
After their first visit, it is important to schedule your child for regular cleanings every 6 months in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems. Your child’s baby teeth will eventually fall out and be replaced by permanent teeth. Keeping the baby teeth clean and healthy will help your child chew, speak, and smile. The baby teeth hold the space in your child’s jaw for permanent teeth to grow in. If a baby tooth is neglected and falls out too early, it is possible for a permanent tooth to drift and cause crooked or crowded permanent teeth. By starting your infant off with proper oral care, you will protect their teeth for decades to come. We have a kind and gentle staff ready to meet all of you and your child’s dental needs at all your appointments at OC Healthy Smiles.
Long before their first tooth emerges – starting at birth, you should be assisting your child in effectively keeping their mouth and gums clean. Clean your infant’s gums daily with a soft infant toothbrush and water. Your child will enjoy the daily cleaning since they will likely be teething. Cleaning your child’s gums will soothe their sore and tender gums. Most children will not have their first teeth grow in until they are 6 months to 1 year old.
When your child’s first tooth emerges, smear a tiny amount of toothpaste on an age-appropriate toothbrush. Ensure that your child spits out the toothpaste and does not swallow the excess after brushing. Your baby’s teeth should be cleaned twice daily.
When your child becomes old enough to brush on their own, make sure to supervise and further assist with flossing. Start your child off with a lifetime of healthy habits by teaching them the importance of brushing and flossing their teeth.
You should start assisting your child with flossing as soon as they have two adjacent teeth. It is very common for children to get food particles and sticky candies stuck in between their teeth. Flossing these foods out will prevent bacteria build up and the formation of cavities. In most cases, brushing isn’t enough to get all food stuck between teeth and that is why flossing is so important for children and adults.
Custom-fitted Mouthguards do more than just protect your child’s teeth. The soft plastic mouthguard will protect your child’s teeth, gums, lips, cheeks, and head from injuries. Sports-related injuries such as head trauma can be greatly lessened with a custom-fitted mouthguard. Keep your active child safe by asking about custom-fitted mouthguards at your next appointment at OC Healthy Smiles.
You and your child’s health are our first priority, which is why we no longer offer film x-rays and instead, we offer the latest x-ray technology which is digital x-rays. Digital x-rays and protective lead aprons significantly minimize the amount of radiation you and your child are exposed to. Additionally, to reduce your exposure to radiation, we make sure to only take x-rays when necessary.
If you would like to learn more about dental x-rays and radiation at your dental office read our article HERE.
At OC Healthy Smiles, we accept patients of all ages. Our knowledgeable staff and advanced technology provide you and your child with a relaxing and pleasant experience at your visit.
If you have any further questions about your child’s oral health or are ready to schedule an appointment, please call (714) 422-0596.