Pediatric Dental Care - West Hartford Dentists
Getting your children to brush their teeth is always a challenge. In fact, most children spend less than a minute brushing their teeth! Our oral health care professionals at Contemporary General Dentistry, LLC.
in West Hartford recommend, however, that they brush for two to three minutes. Many parents have a tough time judging how much dental care their kids need. They know they want to prevent cavities, but they don't always know the best way to do so. As a parent, you have a big role to play in keeping your child's teeth healthy and clean. You can help prevent cavities. Prevention starts at home, with good eating habits and daily cleaning of the teeth.
When Should Dental Care Start?
Proper dental care begins even before a baby's first tooth appears. Remember that just because you can't see the teeth doesn't mean they aren't there. Teeth actually begin to form in the second trimester of pregnancy. At birth your baby has 20 primary teeth, some of which are fully developed in the jaw.
Running a damp washcloth over your baby's gums following feedings can prevent buildup of damaging bacteria. Once your child has a few teeth showing, you can brush them with a soft child's toothbrush or rub them with gauze at the end of the day.
Even babies can have problems with dental decay when parents do not practice good feeding habits. Putting a baby to sleep with a bottle in his or her mouth may be convenient in the short term — but it can harm the baby's teeth. When the sugars from juice or milk remain on a baby's teeth for hours, they may eat away at the enamel, creating a condition known as bottle mouth. Pocked, pitted, or discolored front teeth are signs of bottle mouth. Severe cases result in cavities and the need to pull all the front teeth until the permanent ones grow in.
Tips for Proper Brushing
Most children miss the molars and the tongue sides of the bottom teeth when brushing. Be sure to pay special attention to these areas.
Make sure the toothpaste has fluoride. Use only a bit of toothpaste and make sure your child spits it out.
Try putting a timer in the bathroom or giving your child a toothbrush with a timer built in. This way, your child will know how long to brush. Or to add a little fun to bedtime rituals, have them brush for the length of a song.
Nighttime brushing is especially important. The eight to ten hours your child is asleep gives bacteria lots of time to feast on food particles left on the teeth and produce enamel-eating acid. The flow of saliva in the mouth also is lower at night so food is less likely to be washed off the teeth.
Once any two of your child's teeth touch each other, it's time to start flossing. Flossing helps prevent cavities by removing plaque and food particles caught between teeth. It should be an important part of your child's dental routine.
Why Choose a Pediatric Dentist?
Consider taking your child to a dentist who specializes in treating kids like our staff at Contemporary General Dentistry, LLC.
Pediatric dentists are trained to handle the wide range of issues associated with kids' dental health. They also know when to refer you to a different type of specialist such as an orthodontist to correct an overbite or an oral surgeon for jaw realignment.
Dr. Bryan Wilson and his colleagues' primary goals are prevention (heading off potential problems before they occur) and maintenance (using routine checkups and proper daily care to keep teeth and gums healthy).
If your children is overdue for an routine dental check-up, please contact our office
to set up an appointment at (860) 881-2997.
By Contemporary General Dentistry
January 25, 2012