Your Kid’s Dental Health

Editors note: This post was originally published in September 2023, and has been updated with additional content in June 2024.

The importance of teeth for your kid’s dental health extends beyond chewing and speaking—they also pave the way for permanent teeth. Teething, a natural phase, might lead to fussiness, drooling, and a penchant for chewing. When choosing a teething ring, opt for one that’s solid and hard. However, it’s crucial to avoid teething products containing benzocaine. The US Food and Drug Administration cautions that benzocaine can have severe adverse effects, even fatal ones.

Guarding Against Cavities

To minimize the risk of cavities for your child, assist in:

  • Brushing twice a day for two minutes, using toothpaste that contains fluoride
  • Utilizing fluoride
  • Ensuring a low-sugar diet for kids, avoiding sugary drinks and candy

Establishing Toothbrushing Habits

Start brushing your child’s teeth twice daily once the first tooth emerges, it is best to establish a routine. For children below 3 years, employ a smear of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice. Those above 3 years can use a pea-sized drop of toothpaste. Brushing for younger children should be done by you. Older children might be capable of brushing on their own, but it is essential to supervise them and make sure that they use the right amount of toothpaste and spit out excess.

The Role of Fluoride

Fluoride fortifies the enamel of teeth. Using fluoride toothpaste harnesses this benefit. Drinking fluoridated water is also advantageous. Your pediatric dentist can guide you about the fluoride content in your water. If insufficient, fluoride tablets or drops might be suggested.

Reducing Sugar Intake

A layer of sticky bacteria coats teeth, reacting to sugar with acid that leads to cavities. Beverages, notably sugary ones, contribute significantly to sugar intake. The American Academy of Pediatrics advocates avoiding juice in the first year, discouraging all-day sipping or bedtime consumption. It’s so important to avoid sugary foods in order to take care of your kid’s teeth, as these increase the risk of tooth decay.

Visit to the Dentist

Schedule the first dental appointment for your baby after the first tooth but before their first birthday. The dentist will:

  • Conduct an oral exam
  • Assess cavity risk
  • Monitor tooth development
  • Evaluate any habits affecting oral health

Book an Appointment for Pediatric Dental Care for Your Kid

Start focusing on nurturing your child’s dental health from their first tooth, paving the way for a journey towards optimal oral well-being and a lifetime of healthy teeth. Timothy Hess DDS offers pediatric dentistry services for your family. Contact us to schedule an appointment today, and take control of your kid’s dental health.