Pediatric Dentistry Starts Early
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) advises that parents schedule a dental checkup for their children by the first year. Early dental care is essential for good oral health, and the first visit is an important one. Be sure to convey good aspects of dentistry to your child. You can help prepare your child for the visit by explaining that the dentist will look at their mouth and probably count their teeth. Avoid words that may suggest unpleasantness, such as drills or needles. Words like gentle and friendly will help quell any fears. At Bernardsville Dental Care, we create a kid-friendly atmosphere and use simple words to explain procedures. Parents can even download our Dynamite Dental Fun Kit for their kids on our website. Our goal is to help children feel at ease on the first visit and subsequent ones.
The Timeline of Tooth Eruption
Although the eruption of baby teeth varies, most primary teeth begin to arrive between the ages of six to 12 months. Most children will have a full set of 20 by the time they reach three years of age. Although the baby teeth are only in the mouth for a short period, taking care of them is important. Baby teeth reserve space for the permanent ones and aid in the development of clear speech. In addition, infection and decay in baby teeth can cause damage to permanent teeth developing underneath. At around four years of age, the facial and jaw bones of a child begin to grow. This natural growth process creates space between the primary teeth to provide the needed space for larger permanent teeth to emerge. Molars generally emerge between nine and 12 years of age. Permanent teeth continue to emerge up to age 21.
Developing Good Early Dental Hygiene Habits
You can help your child develop healthy oral hygiene habits by sticking to a routine and making the process fun and engaging. Children should brush their teeth after breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and before bedtime. To make the experience enjoyable, colorful toothbrushes with Disney-like characters and yummy toothpastes will get the job done. Be sure to help your child develop good teeth brushing technique by leading by example. Flossing is also effective for good oral hygiene, and your dentist can advise when it’s best to start.
A child’s diet plays a large role in preventing cavities. It’s best to avoid or limit sugary beverages and foods. Sugary foods turn into an acid that wears away a tooth’s minerals. Over time, a cavity develops with the wearing away of the tooth’s enamel. Children should visit the dentist twice a year for dental cleanings and checkups. Fluoride treatment and dental sealants are recommended to keep the teeth strong. Dental sealants seal the deep grooves and pits in a child’s teeth and prevent decay from developing in those hard-to-reach back areas. During regular checkups, a dentist will inspect the dental sealant. If it is worn away, another application may be completed. By and large, dental sealants last for several years. With regular checkups, a healthy diet, and regular brushing, your child will be set on the path to a healthy smile and a lifetime of oral and overall health. Serving Bernardsville, Basking Ridge, Far Hills, Mendham, Bedminster, & Morristown, NJ.