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How Can I Help My Child Keep a Healthy Smile?

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We believe that caring for children's baby teeth and teaching them oral hygiene at a young age lays the groundwork for lifelong oral health.

Every day, your child grows and learns new things. Early attention to your toddler's baby teeth and smiles is critical, as these years can lay the groundwork for lifelong oral health. Today, we'll discuss the significance of baby teeth and how you can help your child maintain a healthy smile.

Why are baby teeth important?

You may be wondering why baby teeth are important when they are not permanent and will eventually fall out. Around the age of six months, the first baby teeth, which are usually the front bottom teeth, begin to break through the gums. The last baby teeth usually appear around the age of three in the back of the mouth, and the upper jaw and your child should have ten top teeth and ten bottom teeth.

Baby teeth perform a variety of functions in the mouths of our young patients. They're for talking, eating, and flashing a thousand-watt smile that lights up the room. Baby teeth in a child's mouth also serve as a placeholder for adult teeth in the jaws.

Around age 6, your child should begin to lose their first baby tooth and adult teeth will start to emerge. The timing of this tooth loss is critical. If your child loses a baby tooth too early, contact your child's dentist about how the correct space can be kept in the mouth so the adult teeth will erupt normally. 

How should I take care of baby teeth?

Now is the time to create a solid oral health care routine for your child. By combining at-home care with regular dental visits, you can help keep your child's smile healthy. 

Brush twice per day (morning and night) to prevent cavities. 

To keep your newborn's mouth clean, wipe it with a wet pad or cloth. Use a rice-sized grain of child-friendly toothpaste on an ultra-soft toothbrush for children under the age of three. For children aged 3 and up, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

Switch to fluoridated toothpaste once your child can spit out all of the toothpaste after brushing (ask your dentist before switching). Assist your child in brushing his or her teeth until each tooth has been thoroughly cleaned.

Visit your child's dentist regularly 

We recommend that parents schedule their child's first dental visit before he or she turns one year old. The first baby tooth should have erupted by this point. We'll check your child's mouth for plaque and cavities, tell you when his or her next tooth is due, and show you how to care for your child's teeth at home. Every six months, children should visit the dentist for a professional checkup and cleaning.

Limit sugary or acidic treats 

Soda and fruit juice contain high levels of acid and sugar, which can harm your child's baby teeth. Sugary treats, such as candy, should also be avoided because sugar weakens tooth enamel and increases your child's risk of cavities.

Look into dental sealants for your child 

Sealants are special coatings that are applied to a child's molar pits and grooves (back teeth). These prevent cavities from forming on the biting surfaces of teeth. If your child is at high risk for cavities, your dentist may recommend sealants.

Check into fluoride treatment 

Fluoride is a proactive measure to help protect your child's teeth from cavities.  

Floss regularly 

Once all the baby teeth have erupted, start flossing. We can offer special flossers for kids. 

This is general advice. Certain children may have special circumstances and may need to see the dentist more often for checkups or cleanings. 

Contact your Langley dentists to schedule an appointment for your child today.

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