Parents are the first teachers kids get to know and trust to teach them everything they need to learn. They play a big role in maintaining their children’s well-being, including their oral health.
According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, tooth decay is accountable for about one-third of all day surgeries preschoolers have each year. That is the reason why we encourage parents to introduce a good oral habit to their kids as early as their infancy.
Ideally, parents should take their babies to the dentist for the first time six months after their first teeth erupted. Your dentist will then examine the overall health of your baby’s mouth.
You may be surprised to know that a child can develop tooth decay or cavities soon after their first teeth appear. This is often called baby bottle tooth decay, caused by long-term exposure to sugary liquids like milk formula and fruit juice, among others.
Aside from tooth decay, there are other dental problems to watch out for like irritations when your baby is teething, gum diseases, and extended thumb or pacifier sucking. To make sure your child doesn’t have any of these, you should visit a dentist as soon as possible.
Here are some healthy practices you can do at home to introduce good oral habits to your baby:
- Wipe your baby’s gums with a clean but damp cloth twice daily. Ask your dentist when you may be able to rub a little toothpaste on those gums so your child would become accustomed to the taste of toothpaste.
- When your baby’s first teeth erupt, you can start brushing those with a tiny and really soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Assist your kids (preschoolers) as he or she brushes teeth at night, as thorough brushing at night is necessary to protect your teeth as you sleep. You may not be aware, but due to lower salivary flow while you are sleeping, your teeth are more susceptible to plaque and cavities.
- Make brushing time a bonding time! It’s the best way to show your children how they should brush their teeth. It will instill the importance of brushing and overall oral hygiene, too. Once your children reach the age of five, you can probably let them brush their own teeth but still with supervision.
It is important that your children develop good habits for their oral health as early as possible. Your children should be at ease at the dentist’s office too, so it would be best for you to take your little ones to Pickering Square Dental to be acquainted not only with the friendly dentist and staff, but also with the facilities and equipment used. This is important if you want your children to be comfortable and confident when it’s time to visit the dentist!