When we think about cavities and inflamed gums, we rarely think about children or toddlers. That’s because it takes time for your teeth to decay and your gums to grow bad bacteria. However, practicing good oral hygiene at a young age can greatly deter bad oral health in the future.
Now, we all know that a child’s oral health doesn’t really depend on their decisions. Your little ones’ decisions about their teeth depend on you and how you go about oral hygiene. For example, do you see your dentist every six months and demonstrate good oral hygiene to your kids? As your kids grow, their oral health needs will change but following the checklist below will help you prepare.
Oral Hygiene Checklist for Infants
- Clean your children’s gums before teeth are present. You can add this to your normal schedule by cleaning their teeth when you clean your own in the morning and at night. Also, you should clean gums after they finish eating or drinking milk. Since gums are sensitive, we recommend using a warm washcloth on the gums.
- Visit your dentist. Though it might sound weird to visit the dentist before your baby has teeth, we recommend visiting your dentist within the first six months. A great dentist like Dr. Appolon will be able to provide tips for you to start your baby’s life with great oral health.
- Avoid the bad stuff. You may be tempted to dip your baby’s pacifier in sugar or sweets to get them to stop crying. We encourage you to avoid this method as it can harm your child’s mouth. Additionally, fluoride is a big no-no for babies under 24 months old.
Oral Hygiene Checklist for Toddlers
- Brush, brush, brush. Show your toddler how to brush their teeth, and encourage them to do so twice a day. You can also lead by example, sharing moments with your family while brushing away.
- Choose your toothpaste wisely. When choosing a toothpaste, look for options with less fluoride. Then, only use a pea-sized amount on your children’s toothbrushes. While brushing, make sure your children don’t swallow any toothpaste!
- Start flossing early. During your daily brushing routine, make time to floss. Adding tooth floss to the normal everyday routine ensures that it’s a normal habit. This means that your children are more likely to floss as they age, leaving fewer bacteria and debris in their gums.
- Set up regular dental appointments. Both you and your child should be seeing your dentist twice a year. If you’re located in Midtown Manhattan, come see us at Appolon Dental Group for your biannual checkup.
Oral Hygiene Checklist for Young Children
- Encourage healthy eating. Healthy snacks not only help your child’s growth and development but they also help your kid’s teeth. Staying away from sugary foods and beverages could save them from cavities down the line.
- Buy a new toothbrush every three months. You can have some fun with this one as your kid can pick out the color and style they like best. Some children’s toothbrushes even play music while you brush!
- Keep seeing your dentist. Seeing your dentist regularly can prevent bigger problems in the future. A dentist recommending braces could mean that your child won’t need them as an adult. Or, a dentist catching a cavity early could save your kid some pain or discomfort.
- Manage your child’s oral hygiene schedule. It is important to keep your children on a routine of brushing and flossing regularly. Check-in with them every so often to make sure they are brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day.
Your Dentist in Midtown
If you are needing dental care, look no further than Dr. Appolon located in Midtown Manhattan. We can make recommendations for you and your family to keep all of your smiles bright and beautiful. To schedule an appointment, call us at (212) 557-8668 or contact us online.