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Children’s General Dentistry: Keeping Young Teeth and Gums Healthy

Apr 9, 2023

Good oral hygiene starts early in life. As a parent, you’ll want to set up good habits for your child. Here are a few tips for keeping those young teeth and gums healthy:


1. Brush Teeth Twice a Day

A baby’s first tooth typically comes in around six months old but can be sooner or later. As soon as that first baby tooth comes in, it’s time to start brushing your child’s teeth twice a day. Pick a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste specifically designed for babies and gently brush the area.

Parents should continue to brush their children’s teeth for several years. Once your child is about six years old, they may be able to take over the task themselves, but with supervision. If your child is wanting to brush their own teeth, remind them to get to all of their teeth, especially the ones at the back. Fluoride can help clean teeth and strengthen enamel but can be harmful if swallowed. Make sure your child is spitting out all of their toothpaste after brushing, especially if you’re using toothpaste that contains fluoride. You can ask your dentist for a recommendation on the best toothpaste to suit your child.


2. Floss Once a Day

Flossing gets rid of food and debris that can get caught between the teeth. Gently floss between each tooth once a day, such as before bedtime to keep bacteria at bay.


3. Proper Nutrition

One of the best ways to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy is through a healthy diet. Not only is a nutritious diet important for their overall health, it’s good for your child’s oral hygiene, too. Focus on whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Crunchy snacks such as carrots, apples, and nuts can actually promote saliva flow, helping to keep teeth clean. Avoid sugary and starchy foods that can lead to tooth decay or even gum disease. Of course, treats are OK in moderation, but they should not be a staple in your child’s diet. Be sure that all teeth are properly brushed after consuming sugary snacks.


4. Avoid Sugary Drinks

Along with a balanced diet, your child shouldn’t be regularly consuming sugary drinks such as pop or fruit juice. Many parents don’t realize that common juices like apple juice actually contain just as much sugar as a soda beverage. Fruit juices do have some vitamins so they are a more nutritious choice when compared to other sugary drinks but use them in moderation. The healthiest drink for your child’s teeth is water. If you have a baby or young toddler, avoid putting sugary drinks in a bottle. Not only can this lead to poor overall nutrition, but the liquid can pool in the child’s mouth, leading to tooth decay.


5. Keep Up with Regular Dentist Appointments

You should make your child’s first dentist appointment at about one year of age, or a few months after the first tooth erupts. It might help to choose a dentist who specializes in working with children. Regular appointments and cleanings will ensure that your child’s teeth and gums are healthy, and your dentist will be able to spot any signs of cavities, decay, or gum disease. Catching any issues early will make them easier to treat.

A clean, healthy smile can boost your child’s confidence. Setting up good oral hygiene habits early in life is the best thing you can do to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy. Be sure to talk to your dentist if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s teeth.

Let Your Best Smile Shine at Renew Dental in Bridgwater

When you visit Renew Dental in Bridgwater you’ll be greeted by a team of professionals who truly care about you and your oral health. Let us help you renew your smile with preventative dental care and personalized solutions.