childrens oral health

Children’s Oral Health – From Baby to Teen

At Robert J. Mysse Family Dentistry, we want all of our patients to have beautiful smiles and healthy teeth. This includes babies, toddlers, children, and teenagers – all of whom need to specially take care of their teeth. Your children’s oral health is very important so we have written up a list of how to take care of your children’s teeth from baby to teen that should help their oral health past each stage and into adulthood. It will help them develop good oral hygiene habits that they will be able to keep up with the rest of their life. If you have any more questions, don’t worry, you can call us at (512) 310-1500 to arrange an appointment.

 

Baby

  • Visit us or another dentist when your baby’s first tooth comes in, and then every six months starting after the first visit.
  • Before the first tooth appears, parents should wipe and clean their newborn’s teeth with a damp washcloth after all feedings – both bottle and breast. This will prevent the buildup of plaque.
  • Once the first tooth appears, parents should begin brushing their child’s teeth for two minutes twice a day. Use a little water to help softly rinse.
  • If you can avoid it, don’t give your child a baby bottle full of milk, juice or formula. The sweetened liquid can damage their oral health – try to use water instead.
  • When your baby is teething, let the baby chew on a cold, wet washcloth or a cool spoon to soothe the pain. When the first tooth comes in might be the best time to set up an appointment with the dentist.

 

Toddler

 

  • Thumb sucking might be one of the bigger problems parents have to deal when raising toddlers. Although, keep in mind that most pediatric health providers believe that all forms of non-nutritive sucking is helpful for the child at first. It should stop before permanent teeth appear though. Consult us for more details about how your child’s thumb-sucking habits could affect his/her teeth.
  • If your child is ill, pay attention to the medicine he or she is given. Oftentimes children’s medicines have a lot of added sugar to make it easier for the child to take so make sure to brush the teeth thoroughly afterwards, otherwise the child’s teeth could be damaged.
  • Once your child hits age two, they should begin using fluoridated toothpaste to help prevent tooth decay. Make sure to supervise their brushing so they learn good habits. Sometimes this can be hard for children to deal with, so here are some ideas to make brushing more fun: sing songs (Itsy Bitsy Spider, Disney songs, etc.), brush together, recite nursery rhymes (Little Bo Peep, etc).
  • Parents also need to be aware of the impact that eating and drinking habits have on their child’s oral health. Try to limit sugary drinks and encourage healthy food options.
  • If your child is afraid of the dentist, try to make him comfortable. Sing songs, tell them stories, try to make them relax. If necessary, sometimes a parent can sit in the patient’s chair and the child can sit in their lap.

 

Grade-Schooler 

  • Once a child hits the age of five, they may start to lose their baby teeth and start getting their permanent teeth, so you definitely need to make sure they are using a fluoridated toothpaste if they aren’t already.
  • Try to avoid sweets – the long term effects can cause irreparable damage to your child’s teeth and gums. Plus, no child wants a cavity!
  • If your child needs to take antibiotics, talk with your pediatrician about the medications, since antibiotics at a young age will often leave stains on teeth that not even the most powerful whitening can get out.

 

Tweens & Teens

  • Make sure their diet is healthy, low sugary food items, and heavy on the fruits and veggies!
  • They should drink plenty of water (8 glasses a day is the recommended amount).
  • Tweens and teens should brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • And they should also floss at least once daily.
  • Also arrange regular dental checkups and cleanings – every six months is best.
  • If your tween or teen has braces or other orthodontia, make sure that teens brush well around braces and use a floss threader to remove all food particles.
  • If your child plays sports, make sure they wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth from harmful accidents.

 

Call us for an appointment if you have any questions, want to learn more, or if it is time for your child’s regular dental appointment. It’s important to make sure children’s teeth are regularly cleaned to avoid cavities and gum disease. Your children’s oral health is very important to us so call Robert J. Mysse Family Dentistry today at (512) 310-1500 to arrange an appointment for your child or yourself.