Infancy Through Childhood: Instill Good Brushing Habits
New White Plains parents may be surprised by the American Dental Association’s recommendations on infant oral care. Parents are advised to begin brushing their baby’s teeth as soon as the first teeth emerge. After all, brand-new teeth are just as vulnerable to cavities as older teeth.
Parents are encourage to use a cloth and a smidgen of toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) to wipe each tooth. As more teeth come in, it becomes more critical for the teeth to be brushed after each meal or, at least, twice a day.
It is critical to elect the proper toothbrush, in order to make brushing time as pleasant as possible. A soft bristled brush is best with a small amount of toothpaste. Infant and toddler-sized toothbrushes with a small head of bristles are useful. Also, there are circle and triangular-shaped brushes that allow your toddler to walk around with their brush with less chance of injury in case of a fall.
If the toothpaste is causing an unpleasant struggle, brush without toothpaste. The goal is to remove food fragments that will create bacteria followed by plaque and then cavities.
When two teeth touch, it’s time to floss. Flossing is important to make sure no food is lodged between the teeth. Proper flossing requires fine motor skills which most youth don’t develop before age six or seven. Parents need to assist with flossing until they are sure their child can do it effectively.
Until the child is old enough to properly brush his or her teeth, they should receive adult supervision and guidance. Instilling the proper brushing and flossing methods will reap lifelong benefits. While it may seem that supervising them is time consuming, remember that it’s resulting in a daily habit that will protect their health. Also, dental expenses related to poor oral hygiene will be avoided.
Your child’s first dental visit should be within six months of the first tooth appearing and no later than their first birthday. It may seem early, but just as your White Plains pediatrician sees your baby regularly to make sure their physical health is on track and counsel you about your important role, you can rely on your dentist to look out for potential problems and guide you about how to help your child preserve a healthy smile.
Seek your dentist’s counsel regarding pacifiers and sippy cups, nighttime bottles, and x-ray safety. Dentist can guide parents with older children about sealants, tooth protection for athletics, and orthodontics.
If you live in the NYC area and don’t yet have a trusted family dentist, call The Dental Design Center – Ira J. Handschuh, D.D.S. at 914-574-2558 to schedule your child’s dental appointment with Dr. Ira Handschuh. By starting young, your child will become familiar with our White Plains dental practice and our friendly staff, ensuring that he or she never develops a fear of the dentist.
Contact The Dental Design Center – Ira J. Handschuh, D.D.S.:
Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):