Anyhoo … with tooth decay being the primary dental problem among children ages 2 to 5, we’re fortunate that it can be completely prevented! If we encourage healthy dental habits starting from the baby years (sassy baby years, if I may…), this will help foster positive habits and the healthy glowing smiles we want to see when they are all grown up.
Here are some One Sassy Doctor informational tips on healthy dental development—starting from birth!
- Baby teeth can decay—and that may cause pain or dangerous infections for your little one. Also, If decay leads to premature tooth loss (or pulling), it may lead to a disruption in the development of adult teeth later on.
- When that first pearly white appears, brush it! Make brushing a routine part of your day – twice a day. You can use a baby toothbrush, or a clean cloth. Be gentle, make it fun, and use the time as a bonding moment. A good rule of thumb – brush after breakfast, and after the last “meal” whether it be food or milk.
- During your well-visit with the pediatrician, be open and ask questions if you have concerns about teeth. Teeth are an appropriate part of the pediatric checkup, so check up on your health care provider if that part of the assessment is left out.
- Assure your child is getting enough fluoride once the first tooth erupts. Fluoride toothpaste should be avoided before two years of age, but it is still important for children to get an appropriate dose of fluoride through water or supplementation. Ask your pediatrician about this.
- Juice is a big no-no. We covered this in a previous posting, and want to remind you again.
- Go to the dentist. By the time teeth first come in it’s a good idea to check in and say hello—even to create familiarly with a provider and a sense of comfort for your child.
- Once your child is two, move to fluoride toothpaste. There are many fabulous tasting ones on the market. (I like watermelon!) Make sure your child does not swallow toothpaste with fluoride. Also, start using dental floss early on.