Basic Oral Health for Children

Early Childhood

As soon and your child’s teeth emerge, is the time to start caring for them! With an early start, your baby will be able to get used to the daily routine of brushing. Early on, caring for your baby’s teeth is as simple as using a soft washcloth over your finger to gently cleanse them. After your baby’s first visit to Dr. Khan, he will tell you when it’s time to switch to a small gentle brush.

Teaching Proper Care

In general, most small children do not have the coordination to properly brush on their own until After the age of 6 or 7. However, you can certainly start teaching good dental hygiene and technique before then. For technique, leading by example is the best way to teach your child how to properly clean your teeth to avoid the buildup of plaque.

There are a few key differences to remember when brushing your child’s teeth:

  • Only a grain of rice sized amount of toothpaste is needed when brushing your baby’s teeth, once the child turns 3, you can graduate to using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
  • Children should have their teeth brushed twice a day – once in the morning and once at night. A thorough brushing should take about two minutes, spending a good amount of time on the back teeth.

When Should My Child Have Their First Dental Exam?

Plainville dentist Dr. Khan recommends that an infant should have their teeth examined by age 1 or within 6 months after the first few teeth surface. This will allow Dr. Khan to inspect the teeth for any irregularities and guide you, the parent, on correct pediatric brushing methods and diet tips. Dr. Khan may suggest that around the time your child turns seven, they should have a sealant applied onto their molars to help protect them against cavities.

Common Oral Health Problems in Children

Just like adults, children have their own unique risks when proper oral hygiene and maintenance isn’t followed.

  • Baby bottle decay – baby bottle decay happens when a baby’s teeth have frequent contact with teeth or when unswallowed milk or juice remains in their mouth for a long period of time. To avoid decay, cleanse your baby’s teeth after each feeding and don’t give them anything sugary before bedtime.
  • Behaviors that cause alignment issues – habits such as thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, and lip sucking can all cause issues with alignment such as an overbite. The only way to avoid these issues is by providing positive reinforcement to help your child break the habit.
  • Early tooth loss – Premature tooth loss usually affects children who have tooth decay or don’t have enough jaw space for their teeth. If this is the case for your child, make sure you get in to see Dr. Khan to start a treatment plan to correct the issue.

If your child is due for a dental checkup or is ready for their first visit, call IKON Dental Group today to set up an appointment with Dr. Khan.

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