February is National Children’s Dental Hygiene Month!

Let’s talk about our kiddos 🧒🏾 👦🏻 👧🏼

🔅 It’s good to get your child in for their first dental visit upon the eruption of their first tooth and no later than their first birthday. This allows for your dental provider to check for tooth decay and help educate you, as parents, on proper oral care. Bringing your child in early will also help them to develop positive experiences at the dental office to make future visits easier & help reduce dental anxiety issues.

🔅 There are many ways to soothe sore gums due to teething!
➡️ Gently rub baby’s gums with a wet cloth, or even your finger.
➡️ Chilled teething rings work wonders!
➡️ Using a finger brush & letting your child use that as a teether can also feel good on the gums while doubling as a cleaning method!
❗️Note: The ADA actually recommends against the use of over the counter products containing Benzocaine…such as Anbesol, Orajel, Baby Orajel, etc. Potential serious reactions can occur in children.

🔅 Your baby can actually get a cavity as soon as their first tooth is in! Lets talk about the best ways to prevent this.
➡️ Avoid putting your babys pacifier or spoon in your mouth before giving it to them
➡️ Cavity-causing bacteria are transmissible!
➡️ Try to limit sugary or sticky food/liquid consumption and never put your child to bed with a bottle or training cup.
➡️Avoid fruit juice until after your child turns 1 year old, and diluting it is always a good idea to reduce sugar intake.

🔅 Finger and/or pacifier sucking can lead to oral problems down the road.
➡️ Ideally, children should stop using pacifiers by age 2 and should stop sucking their thumbs/fingers by age 4.
➡️ This is because sucking may cause their teeth to not grow in straight or their mouth may not develop correctly.

🔅 What are ways to help your child discourage sucking habits?
➡️ Praise them for not sucking rather than scolding to encourage good habits!
➡️ Children often suck when they are seeking comfort, try other alternatives to make your child feel at ease.

🔅 Time to discuss proper brushing techniques!
➡️ Whether your child has one tooth, multiple or none, its important to keep your child’s mouth clean!
➡️ Before they have any teeth, it is best to clean your baby’s gums with a damp washcloth after each feeding – this helps keep the developing teeth healthy!
➡️ As soon as you see their first tooth, start brushing 2xday!
➡️ Use a soft-bristled, child-sized toothbrush with a grain-of-rice sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
➡️ The easiest way to position you child is by having them rest their head in your lap while you sit.

🔅 The last tip we will cover is fluoride!
➡️ Fluoride helps protect the tooth from cavities, even when they are developing!
➡️ Children that use fluoridated water are less cavity-prone then those who don’t.
➡️ If you have fluoridated water, awesome your child is in luck!
➡️ If you don’t have fluoridated water, there are other sources such as toothpaste and supplements. It’s recommended to talk to you dental provider about your child’s recommended amount!

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