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From Birth Through Childhood, Good Oral Hygiene Starts With You

It's never too early for good oral hygiene. | Gainesville pediatric dentistYour baby is never too young to benefit from a clean and healthy mouth.

  • Before he has even a single tooth, you can clean his mouth. Use a warm, wet cloth or a damp piece of gauze after every feeding to wipe his gums clean. Introduce a baby friendly toothbrush as soon as that first chomper comes through; it’s fun for him to chew and play on, and teaches good habits straight away.
  • Once he reaches six months of age and begins to eat solid food, your Gainesville pediatric dentist recommends ending his meals with a few sips of water. Doing so will wash away any bits of food that remain in his mouth, thus eliminating any potential choking hazard and cleaning his teeth too.
  • Avoid putting baby to bed with a bottle of milk. Even in the daytime, pay careful attention to the point at which he stops drinking and begins only using the bottle for comfort. Unnecessarily prolonged exposure to the sugar in baby’s milk renders his mouth susceptible to cavities.

Your toddler can help take care of his teeth.

  • Start brushing regularly with non-fluoridated toothpaste around the age of two. Incorporate toothbrush time into your regular bedtime routine; sing songs, make funny faces in the mirror, or tell stories of a knight who rides in to save his people from the evil Plaque to make it fun for your toddler.
  • Limit his consumption of juice. Young children gain little hydration from juice they could not receive from water or milk; juice is sticky and cloying and potentially damaging to the surface of growing teeth.

By the time your child reaches elementary school, his role in caring for his teeth is as important as your own. Emphasize the importance and encourage good oral hygiene practices that will help protect his teeth and gums, and reduce the risk of cavities.

  • Brush twice daily with a toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association, and one that contains the proper amount of fluoride. Fluoride removes the sticky, filmy plaque that dentists agree is the leading cause of tooth decay.
  • Floss daily to remove food caught between his teeth, and plaque that lurks beneath the gumline.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet of lean meats, fruits, and vegetables too. Sticky, starchy foods should be limited to occasional consumption, and only ever at mealtimes when saliva production is high enough to protect his teeth.

Take your child to see his Gainesville pediatric dentist for regular checkups.

Schedule your first checkup and cleaning six months after the eruption of your child’s first tooth or no later than his first birthday. Contact Smilez Pediatric Dental Group in Gainesville VA at (703) 947-0836.