A pediatric dentist will care for a child’s teeth by examining them for early decay, monitoring any orthodontic concerns, tracking tooth and jaw development and providing resources for parents. There are several aspects of good preventative dental care that will promote strong, healthy teeth in children.

Diet

A well-balanced diet is necessary for a child to develop healthy teeth and gums. This includes limiting sugary snacks while promoting healthy options such as crunchy veggies and low-fat yogurt. Harmful acids and sugar particles from unhealthy food choices can harm gum tissues and erode tooth enamel.

Oral Habits

It’s never too young for a child to develop healthy oral habits. If a child uses a pacifier, an orthodontically correct type should be used. For thumb sucking, a pediatric dentist can suggest an appliance to eliminate this behavior. Both thumb sucking and the use of a pacifier can lead to developmental problems and cause the teeth to misalign.

General Oral Hygiene

To reduce the risk of transmitting harmful bacteria, parents should refrain from sharing utensils with their child. Teething toys and pacifiers should be rinsed with warm water.
Sippy Cup Use

Sippy cups may cause liquids damaging to teeth to continually swirl in a child’s mouth. The use of a sippy cup should be eliminated as soon as the child has the ability to use a drinking glass.

Brushing

A parent should assist a child with tooth brushing until the child is approximately 7 years old and can easily reach each area of their mouth. If possible, children should brush their teeth twice a day using a brush with soft bristles. A pea-sized portion of toothpaste should be used. It’s recommended to gently rub the gums of babies after feeding.

Flossing

Cavities can form more easily between the teeth. This makes regular flossing extremely important. A pediatric dentist can show the correct positioning for the flossing process and suggest ways to make flossing fun for a child.

Fluoride

It’s important to use the correct amount of fluoride since too much or too little can cause problems with the teeth. A pediatric dentist can evaluate how much fluoride is being received and make recommendations or prescribe supplements if needed.

It’s important to find a qualified pediatric dentist who can professionally exam and clean a child’s teeth. The dentist can offer good flossing and brushing strategies, as well as provide advice for pacifier and thumb sucking cessation. The pediatric dentist may also recommend using dental sealants as an important tool to fight against cavities and tooth decay.

If you have questions or concerns about how to care for your child’s teeth, please ask your pediatric dentist.

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