Start Early to Build a Healthy Future

Dental Care at a Young Age Promotes Better Dental Health As An Adult

Having great dental hygiene at an early age is important for a person’s lifetime dental health. A lot of parents think that pediatric dental care isn’t important because baby teeth will fall out. Unfortunately this isn’t true, and keeping baby teeth healthy is just as important as keeping permanent teeth healthy. Regular pediatric dental care can ensure that your baby’s teeth are healthy and growing as they should.


When Should Children Start Seeing a Dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you take your baby to the dentist when the first tooth appears, or at least by their first birthday. Babies start teething around the age of six months old, and by the time they are three years old, they usually have about 20 teeth. Baby teeth aid in children’s speech development and create a path for the permanent teeth to follow. Because of this, it is important for dentists to make sure that their baby teeth are developing properly. Another factor is decay of teeth. Decay in baby and children’s teeth can also lead to a higher risk of decay in adulthood. Young children, even babies, should have regular pediatric dental visits every six months unless otherwise instructed by your dental care provider.


Setting an Example

Children learn the importance of dental hygiene from their parents, so it is important for parents to lead by example. Make sure you have good dental hygiene and you maintain regular dental check ups. Allow your child to visit with you so they can see that there is nothing to be afraid of. Most dental offices are happy to give a tour of their facility. Just be sure to call ahead and ask when would be a good time for you and your child to come in. It can even be helpful to brush your teeth along with your child. Many children can’t thoroughly brush their teeth on their own. Make sure your child practices holding the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and brushes back and forth with short strokes. Tell them to remember to brush their tongue also.

Let them watch you as you demonstrate proper flossing and proper brushing. You can even make brushing teeth fun by turning it into a game–let your child brush their dolls or stuffed animal’s teeth and cheer as they do a good job or do a countdown or a little song as they brush each tooth and their tongue.

Just remember, practice makes perfect!


Good Habits Should Be Taught At An Early Age

Proper eating habits, to go along with a proper brushing routine is also an important part of good dental hygiene and your child’s overall health. Dentists in Clarksville, Tennessee agree that it is important for parents to install healthy choices at an early age to help put children on the path to a healthy smile.

To promote oral health, follow nutrition guidelines for young children. Serve a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and include calcium- and protein-rich foods to build strong teeth. Give children water to drink between meals and with snacks. Give children a choice between two healthy snacks like cheese or fruit. When children are a part of the decision process they are likely to be more satisfied with their snack. Starchy snacks like chips and crackers can be broken down into sugar and cause cavities.

When your child is brushing their teeth, help them.


Practicing good dental hygiene at an early age and starting your child out with regular pediatric dental care when their first teeth erupts can set your child up for dental hygiene success as an adult. They will learn the importance of dental hygiene as well as the proper way to take care of their teeth and it will develop into a habit as they become adults. This will lead to an overall healthier life for them and help to maintain their self-esteem as they get older.