No More Natural Teeth: Deciding Between Implants and Dentures

How To Care For Your Child's Teeth

by Jeremiah Barnett

As a parent, you're responsible for your child's well-being. That extends to the well-being of their teeth. When children are young, they're unable to brush or floss their teeth on their own, so they rely on you for assistance. You've spent your whole life taking care of your own teeth, but young children have particular needs that you may be unaware of. Here are four tips you can use when caring for your young child's teeth.

1. Buy a child-friendly toothbrush.

As soon as your child gets their first tooth, you will need to help them brush it. However, the toothbrushes that adults use aren't suitable for children. These toothbrushes are too large, and they might injure small mouths. Instead, find a toothbrush specifically designed for young children. It will have a much smaller head, which will allow you to comfortably and safely maneuver it inside your child's mouth. Always choose a toothbrush with the softest bristles you can find. Firm bristles don't clean teeth any better than soft ones, and they can irritate your child's delicate gums.

2. Use a very small amount of toothpaste.

Toothpaste is safe when used as designed. However, it isn't meant to be swallowed. Babies and young children may be unable or unwilling to spit out the toothpaste used to brush their teeth, so you should use a very small amount. According to What to Expect, you should place a very thin, small amount of toothpaste on your child's toothbrush until they're three years old. Most of the cleaning power will come from the mechanical action of the toothbrush bristles. Once your child turns three, you can begin to use a blob of toothpaste that is approximately the size of a pea.

3. Massage your child's gums.

Gum care is another part of proper oral care. Healthy gums support healthy teeth. Before all your baby's teeth emerge, you can still take the opportunity to massage their gums. You can do this with a clean finger or a silicone massager made for this purpose. Gum stimulation can encourage tooth growth and help soothe teething discomfort.

4. Take your child to a pediatric dentist.

Babies need dental care as soon as their first tooth emerges from their gums. A pediatric dentist will check to make sure your baby's teeth are coming in as they should. As your child gets older, a pediatric dentist will provide routine cleanings. They will look for decay using X-rays so that treatment can be provided if cavities are found. Pediatric dentists have gone to school specifically to learn to care for children's teeth. Reach out to businesses like Dentistry For Children to learn more about pediatric dentistry.