When a child smiles, it is hard not to smile in return. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, which aims to raise awareness about the health of children’s teeth. The American Dental Association sponsors this event each year and provides educational materials to areas across the country.
Below are a few tips to keep children’s teeth healthy. We hope they help guide parents with taking an active role in maintaining their children’s teeth.
- Believe it or not, a child’s dental care begins in the womb. A child’s teeth start to develop fairly early in the pregnancy. An expectant mother must be sure to eat right. Eating foods high in calcium such as leafy greens and dairy products is an easy way to ensure proper oral health.
- Remember that there are teeth under a child’s gums. Even though they aren’t yet visible doesn’t mean they don’t need attention. Wipe a baby’s gums with a soft cloth after meals to remove any bacteria or contaminants.
- Be sure to have your child visit the dentist early on. Your one-year-old’s oral health will be examined. Fluoride needs, if any, will be addressed as well.
- Don’t use toothpaste for children under two years of age. When the first teeth appear, brush them with only water. After children turn two, begin to use toothpaste in pea-sized amounts.
- Take the time to show your children proper brushing technique. By age six to seven, children should be able to brush their own teeth. Choose a toothbrush designed for children and make sure to continue using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Demonstrate how to use circular brush strokes and make sure they spit out the toothpaste. Rinsing with water after is important to ensure all toothpaste is gone. Flossing is also crucial as soon as any two teeth are touching each other.
At Wellesley Dental Group, we make sure our young patients learn the importance of oral health early on. Dr. Ali uses an interactive and fun approach to teach children about their teeth and gums as well as proper brushing technique. This makes visiting the dentist an enjoyable experience. As we always say, healthy teeth for life!