Good oral hygiene begins at the very beginning of life—during infancy. Early childhood dental care can establish a healthy foundation for oral care once teeth begin to make an appearance. While some parents may wait until teeth come in to begin oral care, simply wiping your baby’s gums with gauze or a cool washcloth removes bacteria that may rest on the gum line. Starting a regimen of early oral care also makes it easier once the first tooth begins to surface. At this point, dentists recommend incorporating a soft bristled infant-sized toothbrush to gently brush new teeth a few times each day.
Chances are, if your baby is under the age of 1, you’re dealing with multiple issues relating to your child’s development, including teething. Usually occurring between the ages of 3-9 months, teething can make for a very fussy baby. It may also result in puffy, swollen gums that are sensitive. As a common way to soothe a fussy baby, pacifiers are widely used. Dentists understand that sucking is a natural part of development, and often serves as a great comfort to babies with teething pain. Even so, oral hygiene is even more important when a child is accustomed to using a pacifier. It’s also important not to dip the pacifier in honey or sugar water. While this may calm the baby, it will certainly increase their risk for tooth decay.
With tooth decay being a serious problem for young children, dentists ask parents to keep a few things in mind:
Baby teeth often stay in children’s mouths long after the baby stage. Some even remain until children become teenagers. Thus, early tooth decay can have a damaging effect on your child’s oral health for a number of years.
Early tooth decay, resulting in extraction of teeth, can lead to trouble eating and speaking, not to mention orthodontic concerns. When teeth are removed due to decay, other teeth often shift into their place, resulting in a misaligned bite. In the same way, permanent teeth come in crowded and crooked.
Without a doubt, early childhood dental care is important as a foundation for good oral health. At Precision Digital Dentistry, we love kids! We believe that early dental care will help children adjust better to dental visits. Children quickly learn that a trip to the dentist is not for a “problem visit,” but for a fun visit. The caring team at Precision Digital Dentistry is ready to set the right tone for your child today, so give us a call.