A parent’s primary focus is to make sure their child is healthy and safe. When it comes to keeping their baby’s oral health, developing good hygiene habits at an early age is key. It’s no secret that brushing daily and visiting the dentist regularly is very important. However, there are a few common mistakes parents may not be aware of that can be harmful to their child’s teeth.
Delaying Visits to the Dentist
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends visiting the dentist within the first year. Baby teeth are very important in a child’s development as they are like spacers for their permanent teeth. Visiting the dentist even before their first tooth comes in will help identify any issues and allow your child to become comfortable visiting the dentist early on. Regular visits are important at any age as it allows your family dentist to examine for any potential issues and also do a thorough cleaning to remove excess plaque that regular brushing can miss.
Prolonged Use of Sippy Cups and Baby Bottles
Sipping juice or even milk for long periods can lead to tooth decay because the gums and teeth are exposed to sugar and bacteria for long periods. Bottles at bedtime are especially harmful as there is not enough saliva produced during sleep to wash away sugar and acid. It is best to have your child finish their drink then brush and rinse before bedtime. For babies you can wipe their gums and teeth with a wash cloth.
Not Brushing With Their Child
Although toddlers love to exercise their independence, when it comes to brushing children’s dentist recommended parents supervise them until they can do it properly on their own. This is a great time to show them how to brush properly and also brush after them to make sure it’s done thoroughly. It may take some creativity to get them to comply so try making it fun with music or by taking turns brushing each other’s teeth.