There’s no doubt that raising kids can be the most rewarding (and challenging) experience you’ll ever have. Of course, in addition to raising happy and well-rounded children, you also want to keep them healthy to give them the best possible start in life. While there’s an abundance of information on everything from what to feed your kids to how to prevent colds, guidelines on healthy teeth are bit harder to come by. But here, a family dentist in Fort Worth talks about simple ways to make sure your children have strong, healthy teeth for a lifetime.
The Importance of a Healthy Start
It may seem like it isn’t important to take care of baby teeth (also called primary teeth) since they’ll just be falling out at some point. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth!
Here are just a few reasons to make oral health a priority from the beginning:
- – All 20 baby teeth work together to help your child eat a healthy diet, develop correct speech patterns and feel confident about smiling.
- – Some of the primary teeth actually remain in the mouth until around age 12. They must stay healthy if they’re going to function for so many years.
- – Baby teeth affect the development of permanent teeth, and as such, decayed baby teeth can cause permanent problems when your child is older.
- – Establishing dental care early sets up your child for good dental experiences well into old age!
How To Take Care of Your Child’s Teeth: FAQs
- When should you schedule their first visit? The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends seeing a dentist when they get their first tooth, or around the age of one year old. This helps them become comfortable very early on and allows the dentist to make sure everything is healthy.
- What about fluoride supplements? Many municipal water supplies have fluoride. If you don’t have fluoridated water, your dentist or pediatrician can prescribe supplements. This is a great question to ask your Fort Worth family dentist at your child’s first visit! They can also apply topical fluoride treatments, which are an excellent, additional way to prevent cavities.
- What kind of toothpaste should you use? There are many types and flavors of children’s toothpaste available. It’s really a matter of which kind your child likes and will actually use for the recommended two minutes! Only use a pea-sized amount (rice-sized if under the age of three) and make sure they’re thoroughly spitting it out instead of swallowing it.
- When should you start flossing? As soon as they have teeth that are touching – especially the first permanent molars that come in between age 5-7. You can use special kids’ flossers and assist them with it at this age.
- Should your child have sealants? Absolutely! Even if children do a great job with brushing and flossing, cavities can form in the deep grooves of their back teeth. Sealants prevent decay by protecting these areas.
With these tips, your children will be well on their way to having healthy smiles for life!
About the Author
Dr. Jasmine Coleman King is not only a dentist but also a mother of toddler-age twins. In addition to her general and cosmetic practice for adults, she is dedicated to providing compassionate care to her pediatric patients as well. Knowing the impact that quality dental care has on the rest of a child’s life, she strives to help both children and their parents understand how to have excellent oral health. She can be reached for questions via her website, or at (817) 292-7488.