If you want to set your child up for success at future appointments with your pediatric dentist in Leesburg, it’s important to begin early. There’s no better news to a kid visiting the dentist than, “Congratulations: You have no cavities. Great job!” That proclamation is welcome news to parents, too. Visiting the dentist can be a fun adventure for a child, or it can be the opposite when a filling, crown, or root canal is necessary. Follow these tips to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy so dental visits can be easy and stress-free for you and your child.
- Help Him Brush
The most important aspect of preventative dentistry for children is regular, proper brushing. Kids younger than the age of six lack the fine motor skills, patience, and knowledge to effectively brush their teeth. By all means, allow your child to “do it himself” first. This will get him into the habit of brushing. But make sure to follow up after him. Using a soft-bristled brush, gently brush each tooth in a circular motion to remove decay-causing buildup.
- Take Him for Regular Checkups with A Pediatric Dentist
Beginning around age one, kids should visit a pediatric dentist twice a year. Pediatric dentists are kid-friendly and their offices are usually bright and cheerful. It’s important to create early, positive dental experiences for children so they will not develop a fear of visiting the dentist.
- Be Mindful of Bedtime Habits
It’s best if your child goes to sleep without a bottle or a pacifier. A pacifier is especially problematic, because it can affect the shape of a child’s bite. Some very young children need to self-soothe with a bottle. That is fine — if the bottle contains water. Any other liquid (even breast milk or formula) includes decay-causing sugars that significantly increase the risk of developing cavities. If your child is attached to his pacifier, your pediatric dentist can offer ways to break the bad habit.
- Limit Sugar Intake
Sugar at bedtime is obviously a bad idea. But even sugar consumed during the day can jeopardize your child’s oral health. You may be surprised to learn it takes half an hour for saliva to neutralize the decay-causing acidity caused by sugary snacks or drinks. Try to limit sugar intake. When your child does have sugar, try to fit in a quick tooth-brushing afterwards.
- Make Sure Your Child Receives Fluoride
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay. Ask your water provider if your water contains fluoride. If not, ask your dentist if you should be applying a topical fluoride to protect your child’s teeth.
Once those first pearly whites pop through the surface, it’s time to get serious about toothbrushing and minimizing cavities. Be sure to contact us when that day comes.