Not only does starting a dental hygiene routine now set your child up for good habits later, but keeping their baby teeth healthy also ensures the healthy development of their adult teeth further down the road.
But where to start? Let’s take a look at some recommended practices.
Candy should be a sometimes treat rather than a go-to snack. Water should be the beverage of choice between meals, as even juice and milk have sugar. If your child eats something like a gummy or taffy, you should brush or clean their teeth immediately after to clear out residue and prevent bacteria growth.
Regular Dental Visits
As soon as you see their first tooth, you should schedule your child’s first dentist appointment. You should make appointments with your local family dental services Leesburg VA every six months so your dentist can watch out for decay and make sure everything is developing properly.
Limit Pacifier Use
When a child turns three they should be weened from comfort items like pacifiers or teething rings. Even thumbsucking can lead to dental problems if not replaced with another self-soothing behavior.
If your baby doesn’t have teeth yet or not enough to warrant brushing, clean their gums with a damp cloth at least twice a day, and ideally every time after they eat. If there are teeth present, you may want to use a little bit of toothpaste. If you’re using a brand with fluoride, children under three should be limited to a rice-size amount.
When enough teeth come in that the cloth doesn’t quite cut it anymore, you can switch to a brush. Children three or over can graduate to a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. If they are brushing on their own, they should be monitored so they don’t brush too hard and damage their gums.
In the long run, it might help to pair your child’s dental routine with your own so they can learn from watching you.