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Diet and Oral Health For Children
What your children eat affects their teeth. Sugars (found in cake, cookies, candy, milk and juice) and starches (found in pretzels and potato chips) can cause tooth decay. Additionally, it is more difficult to clean babies’ and children’s teeth – resulting in the accumulation of debris in children’s teeth, and resulting in bacterial growth and ultimately, tooth decay. Although baby teeth (deciduous or primary teeth) are eventually replaced with permanent teeth, healthy baby teeth are fundamental to a child’s overall health and development.
From 6 months to 24 months, children begin teething in earnest. This is indicated by irritability, biting on objects, drooling, and ear pulling. As a parent, you can help teething progress by using strategies such as massaging your child’s gums, offering a chilled teething ring or cold, wet washcloth.
By 3 years of age, most if not all baby teeth have erupted. Soon after 4 years, spaces for permanent teeth begin to appear as the jaw, supporting bone structure and facial bones begin to grow.
From 6 to 12, it is typical for your child to have both baby teeth and permanent teeth in their mouth.
Sensitive Care Family Dentistry Provides Oral Health Care for Children and Infants
- Infant Teeth Cleaning: Baby teeth should be cleaned as soon as they erupt. Clean your baby’s teeth with a soft washcloth or gauze after every bottle or meal. When more than one tooth erupts, you can soak a small-bristled child-sized (age-appropriate) toothbrush in warm water before using it on your baby’s teeth, as instructed by your dentist. Baby teeth should be brushed using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
- First Dental Visit: It is important that your child see a dentist as soon as the first tooth erupts. This is a great time to introduce them to the dentist to build confidence and comfort.
- Dental Sealant Application: Dental sealants are used to protect teeth from decay and are appropriate as soon as a tooth erupts.
- Fluoride Treatments: Fluoride is a major component in the prevention of childhood tooth decay.
- Dental Flossing: Parent-assisted dental flossing should commence when two teeth erupt next to each other. Independent flossing should occur when children have the ability to do it on their own (often by 6 years of age).
- Mouth Washing: Mouth washing is usually recommended by age 7, provided your child can perform the activity.
- Orthodontics: Orthodontics may be appropriate by 7 years of age.
To schedule an appointment with a Sensitive Care dentist in our Milford, CT office, contact us today at 203-878-6699.