Dental Care for Children
It is never too early to encourage healthy dental hygiene for kids. Your child’s teeth are at risk of decay as soon as they first erupt. Tooth decay in children, also known as early childhood caries, is the most common chronic children’s disease in the country. In some cases, severe tooth decay can result in tooth loss. The good news is that tooth decay is completely preventable.
How to establish good dental health and hygiene for your child?
From birth to 12 months, you should gently wipe your baby’s gums with a clean baby washcloth or gauze. When the first tooth appears, clean the surface using a baby toothbrush and water. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the best time to clean your baby’s teeth is after breakfast and before bedtime.
For children 12-24 months of age, use a child-size toothbrush and a pea-size amount of toothpaste. Unless fluoridated toothpaste is explicitly recommended by your dentist or pediatrician, it is best not to use it until your child can safely spit to prevent ingestion of excessive amounts of toothpaste.
Brushing and flossing are a very important part of your child’s dental hygiene regimen. Flossing should begin only when your child has 2 teeth that are touching, which normally occurs around 2 to 2 1/2 years of age.