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Children’s Dental Health: The Importance of Early Dental Care for Children

added on: April 19, 2024

Early dental care is an important step for preventing cavities and tooth decay. Left untreated, cavities can cause pain, infection, and even issues with eating and speaking. Prevention and proactivity are key in pediatric dentistry and can include checking for signs of tongue tie, doing an airway assessment, and examining jaw positioning to catch any issues before they become more serious.

These early appointments also help to create a foundation of positivity for the child and dentist, which can result in decreased dental anxiety as they get older. Parents also have the opportunity to ask questions and receive up-to-date education and techniques on how to best care for their child’s teeth.

How to Choose the Right Toothpaste & Oral Care Products for Kids 

The American Dental Association recommends non-fluoridated toothpaste for kids younger than two. Between the ages of two and six, a small, pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste is recommended.

Parents should opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush with an age-appropriate head size. Many brands offer “baby’s first toothbrush” options with extra soft bristles that are gentle enough for tiny teeth.

It’s okay to get creative with toothpaste flavors. After all, if your child is excited to brush with their bubblegum or strawberry toothpaste, they’ll likely be more consistent. Just check the label for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. When it comes to flossing, parents can introduce this to their children’s routine as soon as two teeth are touching.

Parents should remain involved in their child’s oral care until the child develops the dexterity to become independent. Transitioning should be done incrementally, from brushing the child’s teeth, supervising their teeth brushing, and then conducting occasional checks to ensure they’re keeping up with their oral health care.

Teething Remedies for Babies and Toddlers 

Teething can be a difficult, painful time for young children. Sore gums can cause crankiness and difficulty sleeping. Though timing may vary, babies often begin teething around 6 months of age. The first teeth to appear are generally the central incisors.

To help alleviate this new sensation, parents can offer their baby a chilled teething ring or gently massage the gums with a clean finger. When using teething toys, the objects shouldn’t be frozen. Due to the highly sensitive nature of a baby’s gums, frozen foods and rings can cause damage.

Parents should bring their child in for their first dental visit when their first tooth comes in or by their first birthday — whichever comes first. At this initial visit, the dentist will discuss how to properly brush these small teeth and provide helpful techniques for keeping baby teeth healthy and for managing teething discomfort.

Pediatric Dental Care in Madison 

My Rivertown Dentist begins seeing children as early as the eruption of the first tooth and even welcomes little ones to join parents and siblings at the dental office to acclimate them to the environment. Pediatric services include cleanings, fluoride, sealants, and pediatric cosmetic care when necessary.