New 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. That’s when parents should also bring their youngsters in for a pediatric dentistry exam at Freedom Village Dental in Jacksonville.
Parents are encouraged 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’s even more crucial for the teeth to be brushed after each meal or, at least twice a day.
Once they’re ready, it is vital to pick 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 your toddler doesn’t like the taste of toothpaste, brush with water for a while. The goal is to remove food bits that will create bacteria followed by plaque and then cavities.
When two teeth touch, it’s time to floss. Flossing is essential to make sure no food is lodged between the teeth. Proper flossing requires fine motor skills which most babies 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 practices will reap lifelong benefits. While it may seem that supervising them is time-consuming, remember that it’s creating a daily habit that will guard their health. Also, dental expenses related to poor oral hygiene will be avoided.
Your child’s first visit to Freedom Village Dental in Jacksonville should be within six months of the first tooth appearing and no later than their first birthday. In addition to pediatric dentistry, we provide general and cosmetic dentistry for the whole family. Make an appointment today.
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