A Parent’s Primer on Dental Care for Infants
As a parent, you probably have many questions about keeping your child’s teeth healthy. Luckily, pediatric dentists have answered your biggest dental questions to help you give your child a head start on a healthy smile.
The Timeline for Tiny Teeth
Most parents are uncertain about dental care for infants and how they can help their child have a healthier smile. While every child is different, pediatric dentists say a child’s dental development follows this general timeline:
- Birth – Parents should consult a kid’s dentist about proper dental care for infants
- Age 1 – A baby should start seeing a kid’s dentist regularly
- Age 6 – Baby teeth should begin to fall out
- Age 10 to 12 – A child’s molars should fall out
- Age 13 – All permanent teeth should be in
Brush Up on Childhood Dental Care
According to pediatric dentists, parents need to care for their child’s teeth before they ever emerge. As an infant, gently wipe your baby’s gums with a damp cloth when they wake, after meals, and before bed. Believe it or not, practicing good dental care for infants can improve the development of their permanent teeth. As your child gets older, be sure to brush and floss their teeth every day to help them develop good oral hygiene habits. Between ages seven and 10, teach your child to brush and floss on their own every day, but be aware they may need your help to thoroughly clean their teeth and gums. By establishing healthy dental habits from a very young age, you can help your child grow up with a healthy, attractive smile.
A Child’s Personal Need for Professional Dental Care
In addition to proper brushing and flossing, you must take your child to a kid’s dentist for professional check-ups and cleanings twice a year. Regular dental appointments can protect your child from dental disease and the need for major dental treatments. To help you keep your child’s smile as healthy as can be, pediatric dentists recommend these simple steps:
- Have dental sealants placed on your child’s molars to prevent plaque from getting trapped in the deep grooves of their teeth and causing cavities.
- Feed your child a balanced diet.
- Reduce your child’s intake of sugary snacks and drinks.
- Have your child rinse with water or brush their teeth after consuming foods or drinks that are high in sugar or acids.
- Encourage your child to practice proper dental care with daily brushing and flossing, along with getting regular professional dental check-ups and cleanings.