New Lafayette parents may be surprised by the American Dental Association’s recommendations on infant oral care. Parents are advised to begin brushing their baby’s teeth as soon as the first teeth emerge. After all, brand-new teeth are just as vulnerable to tooth decay as older teeth.
Parents are encourage 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 critical for the teeth to be brushed after each meal or, at least, twice a day.
It is essential to choose the proper toothbrush, in order to make brushing time as pleasant as possible. A soft bristled brush is best with a small amount of toothpaste. Infant and toddler-sized toothbrushes with a small head of bristles are helpful. Also, there are circle and triangular-shaped brushes that allow your toddler to walk around with their brush with less chance of injury in case of a fall.
If the toothpaste is causing an unpleasant struggle, brush without toothpaste. The goal is to remove food pieces that will create bacteria followed by plaque and then cavities.
When two teeth touch, it’s time to floss. Flossing is important to make sure no food is lodged between the teeth. Proper flossing requires fine motor skills which most kids don’t develop before age six or seven. 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 his or her teeth, they should receive adult supervision and guidance. Instilling the proper brushing and flossing practices will reap lifelong benefits. While it may seem that supervising them is time consuming, remember that it’s making a daily habit that will protect their health. Also, dental expenses related to poor oral hygiene will be avoided.
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 just as your Lafayette pediatrician sees your baby regularly to make sure their physical health is on track and counsel you about your vital role, you can trust in your dentist to look out for potential problems and counsel you about how to help your child keep a healthy smile.
Seek your dentist’s counsel regarding pacifiers and sippy cups, nighttime bottles, and x-ray safety. Dentist can counsel parents with older children about sealants, tooth protection for athletics, and orthodontics.
If you live in the Boulder area and don’t yet have a trusted family dentist, call Gordon West DDS, Cosmetic & General Dentistry at 303-665-5335 to schedule your child’s dental appointment with Dr. Gordon West. By starting young, your child will become familiar with our Lafayette dental practice and our friendly staff, ensuring that he or she never develops a fear of the dentist.
Be sure to check our website at https://www.bouldercountysmiles.com/services/ for more information about our services. We provide sedation dentistry, prepless veneers, Invisalign clear braces, teeth whitening and dental crowns.