What Every Parent Should Know About Pediatric Dental Care

Dental care plays a hugely important role in a child’s overall wellness by promoting strong, healthy teeth and guarding against issues such as infections and decay. Healthy teeth also allow your child to talk and eat well, which can benefit their self-confidence and ability to thrive socially and academically.

February is National Children's Dental Health Month, making it a prime time to make sure your child is receiving the dental care they need. Don’t forget to schedule your next exam at Advanced Dental Care of Austin. In the meantime, keep these facts and pointers in mind.

It’s never too early to brush

While you brush an infant’s teeth differently than how older children brush their teeth, it’s never too early to start. Swabbing or wiping teeth from early on helps prevent bacteria from overgrowing in the small folds of your child’s tongue.

Once at least one tooth has appeared, you can start brushing teeth with a soft-bristle toothbrush and a dab of fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Especially with small children, guide them to spit and rinse.

Brushing technique makes a big difference

Teaching your kids good brushing techniques sets them up for a lifetime of dental health. Most kids can start brushing their own teeth between ages 3 and 5. The brushing itself should take about two minutes, including about 30 seconds spent on each area of the mouth: top right, top left, bottom right, and bottom left.

Encourage your child to tilt the bristles of the brush toward the gums and to brush in tiny circles, avoiding harsh back-and-forth scrubbing.

Flossing is equally important

Make flossing as high of a priority as brushing — and that goes for everyone, not just children! Start your child on a flossing routine as soon as they have teeth that touch each other.

Some kids find disposable flossers designed for children more appealing and easier to use than standard floss. For the best technique, encourage your child to press the floss down firmly on both sides of each tooth.

Routine dental visits are important

Similar to home oral hygiene practices, routine dental visits are important for children from early on. Most kids should see a dentist by their first birthday and have routine exams twice per year.

At the first exam, a pediatric dentist will start a dental history for your child. Early and frequent visits to the dentist provide your child the best chance of healthy teeth and gums. Routine dental exams during the first five years of life can also reduce dental costs by an estimated 40%.

Tips for making dental hygiene fun

Making dental care fun can really help your child hone good habits. Consider the following ideas:

To learn more, call Advanced Dental Care of Austin or schedule an appointment using our online booking feature. We’d love to help your children maintain healthy teeth and gums and answer any questions you might have.

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