Your toddler’s first set of teeth play a vital role in setting the stage for lifelong oral health. While baby teeth are only in place for a few years, they are much needed for proper mouth function. They are placeholders for permanent adult teeth and require the same preventative dental care.
Preventive Dental Care for Kids
Truth be told, by starting oral health regimens early you will help establish good dental care habits that will last into adulthood. You can set young children on the right track and avoid costly interventions down the road.
Dental caries is the leading chronic disease affecting toddlers. More widely referred to as cavities, surprisingly, about 25 percent of kids between the ages of 3 and 18 have never visited a dentist.
Although tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease are very preventable conditions, they are quite common in patients who aren’t taught healthy habits early.
Start Oral Health Regimens Early
A baby’s gums need attention, even before just one tooth erupts. Wipe down the soft tissue with wet gauze or a soft damp cloth to protect against plaque buildup and bacteria.
The ADA recommends that toddlers see a dentist once the first tooth erupts or by their first birthday. During that initial appointment, parents are taught about proper pediatric dental care. The dentist will perform an oral exam on the child to check for tooth decay and cavities. At age two, it is time to establish a twice-daily tooth brushing routine.
Dental Treatments for Older Kids
As your child develops and more adult teeth come in, there are two preventative dental treatments we recommend to protect your child’s oral health further:
- Topical Fluoride: The application of professional grade topical fluoride will make your child’s teeth more resistant to cavities.
- Dental Sealants: The thin, protective coating is painted onto the chewing surfaces of back teeth to provide a barrier against plaque, food debris, and bacteria build up. Even those most diligent with their oral hygiene practices can’t always reach the crevices and grooves set deep inside the back molars. Children general get dental sealants as soon as molars and premolars erupt.
Baby teeth are the opening act for the stars of the show, adult teeth. They set the stage for a strong entrance and healthy long-lasting performance. Parents who teach their young children correct oral care habits early and keep up with preventative visits, help ensure lifelong dental health.