April 21, 2024

Oral Health: How To Care For Your Child’s Teeth

It is essential to take care of your child’s baby teeth and keep them healthy. Baby teeth or primary teeth hold space for adult teeth. Taking care of your child’s teeth will protect them from dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, or malocclusion. Pediatric oral health consists of two components, namely preventive care at the dentist’s office and preventive care at home. 

Our renowned dentist in Mitchell, SD, helps provide preventive care for pediatric patients to improve their oral health. 

Preventive pediatric care- efforts taken by dentists 

Your child’s dentist will take the following measures as preventive care:

  • During the first dental visit, your child’s mouth will be examined to check for caries or any orthodontic concerns like crowding or overbite, etc. 
  • The pediatric dentist will track the jaw and tooth development.
  • A thorough professional cleaning will be performed to remove plaque and bacteria. 
  • Your child’s primary teeth will be coated with topical fluoride to protect the tooth enamel. 
  • The dentist will demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques and will address any parental concerns.
  • Dietary counseling and strategies to cease thumb-sucking and the use of pacifiers will be recommended to the parents. 
  • When your child’s molars erupt, the pediatric dentist will provide them with dental sealants to seal bacteria, food particles, and acid. Dental sealants are important tools to fight against tooth decay. 

Preventive pediatric care at home 

Parents play a crucial role in keeping their child’s oral cavity healthy. Good preventive care includes the following:

Diet

  • Parents should provide children with a healthy, well-balanced diet. 
  • Sugary foods and continuous snacking should be discouraged.
  • Alternatives like cereals, carrot sticks, and yogurt should be included. 

Healthy oral habits 

  • Discourage the use of pacifiers and habits like thumb-sucking. 
  • This will avoid developmental problems like teeth crowding.

General oral hygiene

  • It is important to inculcate good oral habits in children that pave the way for a healthy oral cavity in the future. 
  • Parents should avoid sharing utensils with their children to prevent the spread of bacteria.
  • Parents should guide their children about proper brushing techniques, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste (above 3 years).
  • Flossing should be encouraged to eliminate interdental plaque and bacteria.

Using sippy cups

  • Sippy cups are good transitional aids from a baby bottle to an adult drinking glass.
  • However, these may also lead to the pooling of sugary liquids around the baby teeth, thus the use of sippy cups should be terminated between the ages of 12 to 14 months. 

Takeaway

It is essential for parents to care for their child’s early teeth since they lay the foundation for permanent teeth eruption. Preventive pediatric care is possible through joint efforts of the parents and the pediatric dentist. 

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