3 Tips for Child Dental Care
It’s easy to overlook, but a child theoretically starts needing dental care the moment the first tooth drops. Dental care should be part of any education package that comes with pregnancy. Once teething starts, you should have a plan to minimize your baby’s discomfort—and your own.
Schedule an appointment. This can imprint your baby with the dental environment and get a jump on any pathology that may already be developing. Before bringing your baby in, start a cleaning routine by gently rubbing the child’s gums after feeding. The first teeth tend to erupt around 6 months.
At the age of two, start a brushing routine. Kids don’t like this, but there are ways to help them settle in. Branded toothbrushes can be treated like toys, especially if they have lights or colors. Some parents play two minutes of fun music to establish a timeline, using 60 seconds for upper teeth and 60 seconds for lower teeth. As with adults, after breakfast and before bedtime are the recommended time slots for brushing. Watch for bad habits, and develop habit-breaking practices.
Most kids will stop thumb-sucking by age 5, but you should try to curtail it before then—research shows it starts having an impact even before permanent teeth arrive. Natural cross-bite can worsen, and bite forces can distribute unevenly. You can help wean your child off thumb-sucking with positive reinforcement and empowerment techniques, never resorting to threats or unfair limit-setting. Most children use thumb-sucking to relieve anxiety, and a feeling of safety and non-judgement can be alleviations for that anxiety.
Our pediatric dentist is ready for your child’s consultation. Call today.
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