We know that parents lead by example, and your interest can be contagious. Dental hygiene may seem tedious, but regular conversation in your home can keep your children’s teeth healthier. Do you enjoy trivia? Share a few fun facts about teeth with your child.
*The first baby teeth to erupt are typically the lower incisors at approximately 6 to 9 months of age.
*Most toddlers have twenty teeth by age 3.
*During childhood, 8 molars erupt. Teens will have 28 teeth total by around age 12.
*During the late teenage years, 4 wisdom teeth appear.
*The grand total count for an adult is 32 teeth!
Here's advice to make care of your child's teeth easier.
Let's talk about brushing. Brush teeth twice a day. The best time to brush is after meals, especially if dessert is included!
Drink a lot of water daily. In addition to the long list of health benefits (hydration!), drinking water cleanses the teeth. Find a fun water bottle for your child to take to school, and keep water readily available at home.
Brush 2 minutes each session. Don't rely on guessing time. Set a timer or having your child listen to a favorite song to help learn timing.
Floss daily. Teach your child to slip the dental floss between each tooth to the gum line (gently!) once daily. When visiting the dentist, ensure your child is instructed on how to floss properly. Nothing like outside reinforcement to help get the task done.
Visit the dentist twice per year. Regular check ups and cleaning help solve current dental problems and keep the teeth healthy. Books may be checked out at the library to help your child understand dental visits and anticipate what will happen.
Ensure you choose a dentist who makes your child comfortable. If you are using a pediatric dentist, typically they have special training to work with children who aren't used to visits or may be afraid. If you use a Family Dentist, call in advance to ask direct questions such as,”Do you take care of children?” and “What does your dentist do to make a child comfortable if he cries?” Praise your child after the visit for behaviors that are helpful to the dentist. An example would be “I noticed when the dentist said open your mouth, you helped out very quickly.”
Most pediatricians recommend your first dental appointment at age one, but if that isn't possible, I'd definitely like them in by age three for sure. We typically look at the teeth at a check up, but the dentist can do a more comprehensive job and add in a cleaning, sealants, fluoride and all teeth health necessities. Smile!