New Boise parents may be surprised by the latest in family dentistry and infant oral care. Parents are advised to begin brushing their baby’s teeth as soon as the first teeth emerge.
Brand-new teeth, the American Dental Association reminds us all, are just as vulnerable to cavities as older teeth. ADA guidelines are to use a cloth and a smidgen of toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) to wipe each tooth. As more teeth come in, it becomes more important for them to be brushed at least twice a day.
As your baby grows into toddler-hood, it is vital to select the proper toothbrush. A soft-bristled brush, using a small amount of toothpaste, is best. Infant and toddler-sized toothbrushes with a small head of bristles are ideal. Some brushes are circle and triangular-shaped, reducing the chance of injury in case of a fall.
If the toothpaste is causing an unpleasant struggle, brush without it. The goal is to remove food bits that will create bacteria, followed by plaque and then cavities.
When two teeth touch, it’s time to begin flossing. It’s important to make sure no food is lodged between the teeth. Proper flossing requires fine motor skills, which most toddlers don’t have yet. Parents need to assist with flossing until they are sure their child can do it effectively.
Until the child is old enough to properly brush, they should receive adult supervision and guidance. Instilling the proper brushing and flossing procedures will reap lifelong benefits. While it may seem that supervising them is time-consuming, remember that it’s forming a daily habit that will protect their health.
Your child’s first dental visit should be within six months of the first tooth appearing and no later than their first birthday. It may seem early, but most parents bring their child to the pediatrician early. You can trust your dentist to look out for potential troubles and advise you about how to help your child keep a healthy smile.
Ask about sealants, x-ray safety, and fluoride supplements. A dentist can also advise parents with older children about teeth protection for athletics, and orthodontics.
If you live in the Boise area and don’t yet have a trusted family dentist, call Blaisdell Family Dentistry to schedule your child’s dental appointment. By starting young, your child will become familiar with our dental practice and our friendly staff, ensuring that he or she never develops a fear of the dentist.
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