You can usually expect to see your child’s first tooth around six months old, and as soon as it pops through, it’s at risk for decay. The older your child gets, the more teeth you’ll see, and the greater chance there is for cavities. At our Charlotte dental office, we’ve got some tips to help keep your little one’s smile not only cuter than ever, but also healthy.
- Watch the Bottle. It’s completely common for a toddler to want to go to bed with a bottle to soothe and help them sleep. But putting anything in the bottle besides water can greatly increase the risk for decay and cavities. Avoid putting your child down for a nap or to bed with juice, milk, or formula.
- Start Good Habits Early. Good oral health habits start even before the first tooth can be seen. Prior to any teeth erupting, you can take a wet cloth and rub down the gums. Once teeth start to appear, use a soft, wet toothbrush to gently scrub the surfaces. Don’t use any fluoride toothpaste until age three.
- Pass on the Pacifier. We know a pacifier can be soothing. But we also know it can cause some serious damage to developing teeth. Pacifiers can cause teeth to shift and even change the shape of the mouth. All of this can lead to problems with the bite and additional concerns. Try to stop the habit by age two or three.
- Make Dental Care Fun. When it’s time for your toddler to start brushing and flossing on her own, make it as fun as possible. Reward her with stickers, brush with her and show her that it’s enjoyable, or brush to music.
- See a Qualified Dentist. Regular visits to the dentist are important for your kids, and for you. However, a dentist qualified to work with children has specific training on kids’ dental health and calming nervous patients. Most even have additional education that trains them how to work with those with special needs.
If your baby is starting to sprout her own little grin, it’s time to schedule her first dental visit. We welcome you give our Charlotte dental office a call to set up that important very first appointment.