Developing good oral care habits for your child early on can contribute to healthier teeth and gums. One component of proper oral care is scheduling regular dental visits for your child, beginning around the first birthday. At the office of Dr. Maryam Pearose in Foothill Ranch, CA, your infant’s first dental visit with our caring dentist, Dr. Pearose, will help set the stage for promoting optimal oral health.
First Dental Visit
Regular dental checkups that include an oral exam and teeth cleaning are an excellent way to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that infants have their first dental checkup by one year of age. In general, infants should see a dentist about six months after the first tooth erupts, which usually happens at six months of age for most children.
Developing Good Habits at Home
Another important aspect of proper infant oral care is developing good habits at home. Good habits include establishing an effective oral hygiene routine and eating a healthy diet. Your child’s oral hygiene routine should include gently brushing teeth and gums twice each day, even when your baby has only one tooth. Always use a toothbrush with soft bristles that is the right size for your child. For infants, a fluoride-free training toothpaste can be used. Once your child is about three years of age and understands not to swallow the toothpaste, you can switch to one with fluoride.
Feeding your child a healthy diet also contributes to a healthier mouth. Foods or drinks that contain a lot of sugar can lead to cavities. The sugars in foods and beverages mix with bacteria in the mouth to form acid. This acid erodes tooth enamel and leaves teeth more vulnerable to decay. Limiting the amount of sugar in your child’s diet helps prevent tooth decay. When you help children develop healthy eating habits from infancy, it can be easier to maintain those habits as they grow older.