Oral Health for Toddlers: How can I protect my child's teeth?

Oral Health for Toddlers: How can I protect my child's teeth?

Your baby’s teeth begin to form in the womb so protecting them actually begins with mom taking care of herself during pregnancy. Proper nutrition and following doctor’s orders during pregnancy will help ensure your baby’s teeth will emerge as expected … around four to six months of age. You should begin your search for a pediatric dentist as your child’s first dental visit should occur at twelve months of age.

Taking care of your child’s teeth will be ongoing for many years. In infancy, wiping your child’s teeth with a soft cloth is sufficient. As your child ages, you can gently brush their teeth with an age appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste.

That first dental appointment at one year of age will likely involve an oral examination to be assured your child’s oral health is on track. If there appear to be any problems or concerns, your pediatric dentist can make you aware of what to watch for going forward. This is also a perfect opportunity for new parents to learn the best way to protect their child’s teeth as they grow.

Brushing and Flossing – You will help your child brush and floss during the early years. Once they are coordinated enough to do a good job on their own, they can take over … but your supervision will still be required.

Diet – Nutritious foods should comprise the majority of your child’s daily food intake. Fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, proteins, and healthy grains are great basics. Limit sugary snacks and beverages to special occasions.

Preventive Care – Your pediatric dentist can provide topical fluoride treatments to fortify dental enamel. Dental sealants can be painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth to fill in the pits that naturally form on teeth … sealants block out bacteria that can penetrate those pits that contribute to dental decay.

As your child ages, provide all recommended protective mouthguards for activities that could endanger oral health.

Make sure all child care providers are aware of the name of the pediatric dentist as well as emergency information for after hour care. Trauma due to an accident can impact your child’s dental health for many years so make sure all precautions are taken to safeguard their teeth and gums.

For additional tips or to schedule an appointment, contact our team at Richardson Dentistry.

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