As a parent, helping your child establish excellent oral hygiene habits is essential to their long-term oral health. Helping them learn to take care of their mouth and teeth with help ensure they’ll have a beautiful and healthy smile through every life stage without the need for costly dental procedures. If you’re a new parent and you’re unfamiliar with best practices for children’s oral care, here are a few common questions answered.
4 Answers About Children’s Oral Hygiene
When should your child visit the dentist for the first time?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should see a pediatric dentist for the first time when their first baby tooth appears. During this visit, the dentist will examine the tooth and gums and take note of any possible developmental issues with the jaw. This is also a convenient opportunity for parents to ask questions about oral hygiene and to establish a strong rapport with the dental clinic.
Why is oral hygiene important for baby teeth?
While baby teeth do eventually fall out, this first set can fall victim to tooth decay, cavities, and other dental diseases just as easily as permanent teeth can. By establishing a strong oral hygiene routine from the beginning, you’ll set a strong precedent that will serve your child well as they grow into adulthood. Plus, you’ll successfully avoid expensive dental work and any discomfort that can come from cavities and gum disease.
What impact does thumb sucking have on oral health & hygiene?
Prolonged thumb sucking can cause problems with the growth of your child’s mouth and often shifts tooth alignment. Additionally, germs and bacteria on your children’s hands can be easily transferred to the mouth if they elect to suck their thumbs on a regular basis. To ensure their jaw and teeth develop successfully and that unnecessary bacteria is not introduced into their system, curb the habit and reward your child for self-soothing without using this practice.
How can you reduce your child’s fear of seeing a pediatric dentist?
Leading up to your child’s appointment, consider doing a pretend run-through so they know what to expect from sitting in the waiting room to sitting in the dental chair. Consider planning a fun activity immediately following the visit so they have something to look forward to. Most importantly, be open with your dental team and tell them about your child’s apprehension. An experienced pediatric dentistry practice will prioritize bedside manner and go the extra mile to make the visit less stressful.
If you and your children need a dentist to help keep their oral health in check, Pediatric Dentistry of Onalaska has been serving families throughout La Crosse County, WI, since 2002. They specialize in putting nervous patients at ease and provide ongoing care from first teeth throughout the rest of childhood. Call (608) 781-9114 to schedule an oral hygiene appointment for your little one, or for more information on their services, visit this state-of-the-art dental clinic’s website.