Maintaining Healthy Teeth for My Child
The foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth for your child starts earlier than you may realize. Early and regular visits to the pediatric dentist and good at-home habits will help protect your child's teeth for years to come.
Why is it important for your child to see a pediatric dentist regularly?
A pediatric dentist is the ideal professional to visit to maintain the health of children’s teeth. This type of dentist specializes in and has additional education and training to best be able to treat your child. Their offices are child-friendly, and they often provide activities to help keep your child comfortable.
Your child should see a pediatric dentist by his or her first birthday and then regularly thereafter. This allows the dentist to spot any potential problems early and offer specific tips about the care your child needs.
Although many parents think that baby teeth aren’t as important as permanent teeth because they’ll fall out anyway, they can cause problems that can affect your child’s permanent teeth.
How can establishing good routines help children’s teeth?
Regular flossing and brushing, as well as a healthy diet, can help your child's teeth stay in good condition.
Starting when your child is a baby, use a washcloth with water to clean his or her teeth regularly. When your child is 1 or 2, you can start using a soft child-sized toothbrush with toothpaste that doesn’t have fluoride in it. When your child is old enough to not accidentally swallow the toothpaste, you can switch to a toothpaste that has fluoride in it.
Your child will usually need help with brushing until age 7 or 8, and your dentist can help demonstrate the best way to do this.
Flossing is also an important part of your child’s dental hygiene. Kids should floss at least once a day, and many young children find it easier to use floss that comes with a handle.
In addition, diet also plays a role in the health of children’s teeth. Help them make healthy food choices and avoid too much sugar. Sugary foods and drinks can increase your child’s risk for cavities, so they should be limited. Your child should also learn to brush their teeth after a sugary food or drink.
What are some tips to make brushing teeth easier for kids?
The following tips can make it easier to care for your children’s teeth:
Let your child help choose their toothbrush and toothpaste:
Many toothbrushes have creative designs with favorite colors or characters. Provide your child choices from a selection of age appropriate toothpastes and toothbrushes to make the experience more fun.
Use a timer:
Your child should brush their teeth for 2 minutes, so set a timer or pick out one of their favorite songs to play to help make sure they’re brushing for the correct amount of time.
Plan a fun activity after a dental visit:
Taking your child to the park or enjoying another fun activity after a dental visit will give them something to look forward to.
Make an appointment today with Park View Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in NYC. We offer top-level pediatric care in a friendly, child-centered atmosphere. From the moment you and your child walk into our brightly-colored office, you’ll find that everything is designed to put you and your child at ease. Call (212) 879-6518 today or fill out the form on this page to request an appointment.