As a new parent, you know you have a lot to learn when it comes to caring for your baby. On the list is making sure her teeth and gums are healthy. The habits she starts now can last for a lifetime — and we want to make sure your little one enjoys a happy, healthy smile for years and years to come. The team at Avanti Dental is your child’s dentist in Tyson’s Corner, and we’ve got tips for caring for her smile below!
The First Year
From her birth to the time she’s one year old, your baby is working on growing her very first teeth. Even when she’s all gums, proper cleaning is necessary for establishing good oral health habits. After each feeding, wipe her gums and any teeth with a clean, wet washcloth. This method will be effective until she’s about six months old. After she has two or more teeth, it’s a good idea to begin cleaning with a soft baby toothbrush and water.
Toddler Dental Care
Before the age of two, you can brush your child’s teeth with a smear of fluoridated toothpaste. After her second birthday, apply a pea-sized amount for proper cleaning. Use gentle, back-and-forth motions to clean the teeth. Make sure she rinses the toothpaste and spits fully. Begin flossing her teeth as soon as she has any that touch.
Dental Hygiene for Kindergarteners
Around age five, your child have developed the skills to brush her own teeth, still using the baby toothbrush. Most children have the dexterity necessary to brush their teeth by the time they can tie their own shoes. Of course, just because she can maneuver the toothbrush doesn’t mean she’ll do a thorough job. Monitor your little one’s brushing habits and jump in as needed to make sure she’s getting a good clean every single time.
8 Years Old
By the time your child is about 8, you should toss the baby toothbrush for a regular-sized one. Some children need a bigger toothbrush as young as 7 years old. Continue to monitor her brushing habits, and make sure she’s flossing at least once daily. By this age, your child is also gaining independence and is likely making more decisions about what to eat while away from home. Remind children of the need to limit sugar intake for healthy teeth and gums.
Pre-Teens and Teenagers
As your child reaches teendom, she will have a new set of obstacles for dental health. Many teenagers need orthodontic treatment to improve a misaligned bite. Proper dental hygiene may be easier to achieve with your teen, as they are typically more concerned with the cosmetic benefits of brushing and flossing. Have your child’s teeth screened to determine the need for orthodontic treatment, and remember that patients of all ages benefit from twice-annual checkups and cleanings.
Schedule Your Child’s Appointment Today!
When was your child’s last visit to the dentist? If it’s been more than six months, she’s past due for a checkup and cleaning. Contact Avanti Dental to schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist in Tyson’s Corner today!