As a parent of a young child, you have a lot of control over how your child’s dental health develops and, in particular, over whether she goes on to develop a sparkling, healthy smile. Here are the vital things that you need to know about your child’s teeth and gums.
How common habits can prevent a healthy smile
Many parents fall into the trap of assuming that infants won’t be at risk of developing tooth decay until they begin to want to eat candy and other sugary foods. However, bottle feeding can actually undermine your child’s chances of developing a healthy smile at an early age. Indeed, thanks to this exposure to sugary liquid, it is estimated that around 20% of children develop at least one tooth cavity before they go to their first dental appointment. Parents who opt to dip their child’s pacifier into sugar to make it more appealing are also reducing the likelihood of a healthy smile, as this sugar promotes a buildup of bacteria that will erode the infant’s teeth.
You can go a long way towards ensuring a healthy smile by making sure that you clean your child’s gums after every feed. Try using a dampened cloth to gently but firmly remove residue.
Why early brushing is crucial for a healthy smile
Dentists recommend that you buy the first toothbrush for your baby whenever you notice the very first teeth beginning to appear in her mouth. You don’t need to worry about hurting her gums in your quest to create a healthy smile, as toothbrushes made for babies have particularly soft bristles. Some experts also contend that brushing your child’s teeth twice a day can make your child more likely to maintain a healthy smile by practicing good dental hygiene in later life.
The importance of early dental appointments
If you want to maximize your child’s chances of developing a healthy smile, it is a good idea to schedule a dental appointment no later than around the child’s first birthday. Thereafter, most dentists will suggest checking your child’s dental health every six months.