Delaying children’s oral health care routines can lead to cavities. Untreated children’s tooth decay may result in compromised health, development and quality of life. However, tooth decay is preventable. Scheduling your child’s first dental by their first birthday increases their ability to fight off dental diseases before their first tooth appears.
Percentage of US parents who take their child to the dentist by their first birthday*
% of US Parents who take their child to the Dentist by Age One26%
% of US Parents who did not take their child to the Dentist by Age One74%
At Dentistry for Children, we love to educate our patients and parents on easy ways of preventing tooth decay. Let’s start with the basics:
Start brushing or wiping your child’s gums even before a tooth erupts. This activity gets them used to the sensation of brushing and stimulate saliva production to cleanse the mouth.
Start using a soft-bristled toothbrush on your child as soon as the first tooth appears in his/her mouth.
It is ok to use a small “smear” amount of fluoridated toothpaste as soon as the first tooth appears. This is less than a grain of rice and definitely less than the size of a pea as previously recommended. You should barely see the toothpaste on the bristles
As soon as your child has any teeth that are contacting or touching each other, have your children begin playing around with flossers between those teeth so flossing becomes an easy habit.
Schedule your child’s first dental appointment within six months of the appearance of his/her first tooth, at your child’s first dental visit. The dentist can give you more information on diet and oral hygiene.
While your child will likely want to brush his/her own teeth, it is important to continue to help them for quite awhile. 8 years old is a general age when a child will have the dexterity to brush his/her own teeth well on his/her own. Until then, let them practice first and have a parent follow up or vice versa. They will likely need help with flossing even longer than this allotted time.
Maintain regular dental visits every 6 months so your child’s dental team can follow their progress on brushing and flossing habits at home and avoid anything but a healthy smile.
For information about our Pediatric Dentistry and Teen Dental Care, please email us or call our Gladstone Dental Office at (816) 548-3400.
Read about the Positive Dental Experiences we provide our pediatric dental patients each week!