February is National Children’s Dental Month!
Keeping your children’s teeth healthy and cavity free can be tricky to do without proper education and implementation. Caring for your children’s teeth begins when their “pearly whites” first peek through. Brushing infants teeth twice a day is very important as well as regular dental visits. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents bring children to the dentist for a first visit after their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday.
It is important to establish regular routine visits even at such a young age as one, when children’s teeth come in, they can be at risk for cavities including “baby bottle syndrome”. This is when cavities form in multiple teeth and occur in children with high sugar intake and when babies are put to bed with bottles or are nursed to sleep without brushing the teeth. The milk or sugar can sit on the teeth and weaken the enamel, causing cavities.
In addition to regular routine visits to the dentist, helping kids brush is very important. A soft bristle toothbrush and only a smear of fluoride toothpaste is needed in children under three. Children over three it is appropriate to use a “pea” sized amount of fluoride toothpaste on a soft bristle toothbrush. A child’s dexterity doesn’t fully develop until the age of 11, so helping your child, even taking turns is beneficial until the “get the hang of it!”
And as always, encourage drinking water instead of fruit juices and other sugary drinks.
For more information (or to schedule an appointment for you or your little one), visit us at Burns Family Dentistry. /RP