February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and a perfect time for the team at Dr. Dayna Cassandra Cosmetic Dentistry to review some of the important steps in keeping your child’s smile healthy for a lifetime.
Most people are aware of the importance of teaching good habits, like regular visits to the dentist and proper home care. But oral health goes beyond that. We recommend checking newborns for oral tethers, as well as early orthodontic evaluation to asses skeletal development. The newborn can evaluated by a pediatrician and/or dentist for the lip and tongue ties, and have an evaluation by an orthodontist by age 7. This is important as oral tethers and skeletal discrepancies can impact a child’s overall health and well-being.
When teeth begin to erupt dental care is as simple as cleaning teeth with gauze and water. It’s also important to eliminate carbohydrates at bedtime and do not put the baby to bed with a bottle.
Getting your child into a healthy and regular dental routine can be challenging at times. Don’t make it too big of a deal, just make it part of the routine for each day. Introduce the toothbrush as soon as you feel the child is ready. Make brushing teeth a fun thing to do and reward them for good behavior.
We know that children can be a little anxious about visiting the dentist, so we have a few tips that will get them prepared for the visit. Bring your child to the office with you so they see that it is a pleasant and harmless process. Make the visit early in the day when the child is not tired. The visit should be just one of the things on a busy day... don’t hype it up too much as that can cause anticipatory anxiety.
We recommend the first visit to the dentist by age 3, as long as the child doesn’t have any oral tethers, skeletal or muscular concerns, sleep-disordered breathing, or experienced any trauma.
Children with tethers, and or sleep-disordered breathing should be evaluated by a dentist immediately upon discovery.
Regular visits to the dentist and age appropriate evaluations are sure to set your child up for a lifetime of great oral health!