For many new parents, the reality of oral care for an infant or toddler, and even beyond these ages into their childhood years, can seem confusing and daunting. You may not know everything about how to take care of a child, especially as a first-time parent trying to do the best for your child. There may be things you don’t realize about childcare, and you might not learn them until you speak to someone with expertise on the subject. After all, infants who barely have gotten their baby teeth must not need to “brush” them, right? Think again! Keep reading to learn a bit more about some of the reasons why keeping on top of oral care from infancy through childhood is so important for your child’s development.
Oral hygiene is essential for lifelong wellbeing, and the earlier you can start, the better. Your general practitioner (and dentist) have likely told you before that a large part of your overall health comes from your oral health, and this also applies to infants and kids. Pediatric dentists are able to help guide new and repeat parents through this challenging time as they start to figure out what’s best for their child’s health. While oral care is often not included in the conversation when talking about health, your pediatric dentist would be happy to tell you about how influential this can be on your child’s development.
Your child’s pediatric dentist is able to answer any questions you may have about the proper way to care for your child’s oral health, as well as what to do if your child has an oral health concern. This can be anything from teething issues to thumb sucking and dietary questions, so don’t hesitate to reach out and ask about how to care for your child’s teeth. After all, once the adult teeth start to come in, that’s the last set your child will get--it’s better to care for those than have to correct the issues later in life! Pediatric dentists, while they cannot give your child braces like an orthodontist does, will be able to tell you about the factors influencing your child’s teeth from a young age so braces can be prevented.
Pediatric dentists can also provide you with preventative tips to keep your child’s oral health in good standing for a lifetime. They can give advice on how to properly brush, how frequently one should floss, the foods to minimize or avoid, and how to keep your child from developing cavities. While some things may be obvious, such as limiting sugar intake and brushing regularly, they can provide further instruction and guidance on how to minimize the chances of harming your child’s teeth as they develop. Baby teeth, even though they fall out at a young age, should still be cared for as if they were permanent. This can keep your child healthy and happy as they start to grow and eventually establish a routine on how to care for their now-permanent teeth.