Dental Hygiene for Kids: Top Tips!
At The Dental Studio, we often get questions from our patients about best practices concerning dental hygiene for their kids, so we thought we would share our answers! Here are the top 5 questions we get from new parents about kids dental hygiene and best practices.
Q: At what age should my child see a dentist?
As soon as their first tooth appears! If you’d prefer to wait a little longer for their first dental checkup, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry also recommends the first visit to be no later than their first birthday.
Q: Can baby teeth develop cavities?
Baby teeth are just as susceptible to decay as adult teeth and even though they will be replaced by a permanent set of teeth, cavities in the primary dentition can lead to infection, abscess and pain and should be avoided as much as possible. Brushing twice a day, flossing at night and visiting the dentist every 6 months for an exam and cleaning will help prevent dental caries.
Q: What should I do if my child falls and bumps their front teeth?
First, if you see excessive bleeding that will not stop after applying pressure for a few minutes or there are clear signs of broken bones in the face, take your child to the emergency room as soon as possible. Next, take a deep breath and help your child stay calm. Check that the traumatized tooth has not fallen out of the mouth-if it has, collect the tooth and any fragments and place them in a cup with some of your child’s spit or a cup of milk if it’s accessible. If there is light bleeding, apply pressure to the area with a clean napkin or damp towel until the bleeding stops. Once your child is stable, call their dentist and tell them you’re on your way there so they can help you with next steps.
Q: My dentist recommended sealants-are they necessary?
Sealants work by flattening and covering the crevices, or grooves, that are naturally present in our back teeth. Without sealants, food can be impacted in those grooves which causes cavities. Sealants are a great way to protect those back teeth from developing cavities. Keep in mind that sealants are not meant to last forever so they will likely need to be replaced after a few years.
Q: What toothpaste should my child be using and how much?
The American Academy of Pediatric dentists recommends that you use “a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste” until the child is 3 years old. Soft bristled toothbrushes are always preferred and should be the appropriate size based on your child’s age. While they are infants, it’s recommended to wipe their gums and tongue with a damp towel after nursing or formula feeding. By the age of 3, you can increase the amount of toothpaste you use to a pea-sized dollop. A balanced whole-food diet that does not include sugary sodas, juices or candy will supplement your child’s regular oral hygiene routine.