Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, an educational 28 days sponsored by the American Dental Association. This is a month to highlight the positives of good oral hygiene and how to practice it, with the focus on bringing this awareness to children, their parents, and other caregivers. In honor of this month-long celebration, here are answers to some frequently asked questions about keeping your child’s teeth healthy, and how orthodontics fits into a comprehensive oral hygiene plan.
Do I need to brush and floss my baby’s teeth?
Surprisingly, even newborns need to have dental care, despite their teeth being below the gumline. You should wipe a newborn’s gums with a damp washcloth twice a day to get rid of milk residue and bacteria. When they start teething, use an infant toothbrush and toothpaste in place of the washcloth. As soon as two of their teeth start touching, begin flossing at least once a day.
When should I start taking my kids to the dentist?
Before your child’s first birthday, take them to the dentist and continue taking them every six months. This will help them understand the importance of visiting the dentist and help with keeping your child’s teeth healthy. It will also help your kids learn from an early age that the dentist isn’t scary and is someone there to help them. The dentist will also be able to address any dental hygiene issues, like cavities, before the issue escalates. They also know when to refer your children to an orthodontist if needed.
How can my kids avoid getting cavities?
Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing regularly is key to keeping your child’s teeth healthy. Sometimes kids want to rush their brushing instead of sticking it out for two minutes, so consider getting them a toothbrush timer to ensure they are brushing long enough. Also avoid giving them too many sugary foods or drinks, as these can lead to bacteria and plaque development, which can cause cavities. Starting all these behaviors early will help your child develop good lifelong oral hygiene skills.
Should my kids visit the orthodontist, too?
One benefit of visiting the dentist from an early age is that they may catch orthodontic issues early. However, taking your child to an orthodontist by age seven even without a dentist referral is the best way to find out if your child would benefit from early intervention. Going to an orthodontist is part of maintaining a healthy mouth, as their corrections are more than just cosmetic. Crooked teeth and bad bites often lead to more cavities and gum disease, all things that you can avoid by getting them treated early. Plus, early treatment is frequently less invasive and less costly than treatment later in life.
In honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month, consider taking your children to the dentist and the orthodontist. If you are ready to help your kids get their healthiest smile, contact Fravel Brewer Orthodontics today for a free consultation.
Fravel and Brewer Orthodontics has been helping patients achieve beautiful smiles as the preferred orthodontist in Winter Garden, Ocoee, and West Orange County, Florida for almost 30 years. Treatment options for kids and adults include Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, ceramic braces, and silver braces. Call us at (407) 656-0001 to schedule a free consultation today!