Our children are the future and a good future starts with a great smile! We gathered some tips to help you track the progress of your children’s oral health. We also broke is down by specific age groups to help out in different stages of your child’s life.
Birth to 6 months
- Clean mouth with gauze after feedings and at bedtime.
- Regulate feeding habits.
Why this is important: By cleaning your baby’s mouth after completely eating you are making sure that no food can remain in their mouth. As teeth start to appear, food can get lodged in the gum pocket and may cause damage to the incoming tooth. Keep an eye on your baby’s mouth after feeding and you should be fine until that first tooth!
6 to 12 months
- First tooth should appear
- Begin to brush teeth after each feeding and at bedtime with small, soft-bristled brush.
- Baby begins to walk; be alert to dental injuries.
- Wean from breast or bottle by first birthday.
Why this is important: By brushing teeth (or tooth) after eating, you are getting your baby in the habit of brushing while also keeping their mouth clean for the rest of their teeth to start coming in. By getting off of the bottle, you are preventing tooth decay from the sugary formulas. Sugar binds with the natural bacteria in your mouth to create acid that can cause tooth decay and enamel damage that can affect your child for as long as they have their baby teeth in.
12 to 36 months
- Follow schedule of exams and cleanings recommended by a dentist.
- Start using pea-sized portions of fluoridated toothpaste when child is able to rinse.
- Check with the doctor or dentist about your child’s specific fluoride needs. In many areas drinking water does not have enough fluoride.
Why this is important: By introducing fluoride, you are helping combat enamel damage and help build strong enamel for years to come. Check with your dentist before using fluoride to find your child’s specific needs.
As your child grows
- Supervise brushing and flossing.
- Watch for cavities.
- Inquire about sealant to prevent decay.
- Use mouthgards to prevent sports injuries.
- Don’t ignore any changes in mouth – teeth or gums.
- Always remember that prevention is better than cure.
- Beware of frequent snacking
- Seek regular dental check-ups
Why this is important: By creating good habits young, you are able to give your child a good head start when it comes to brushing on their own. Once they are independant and brush on their own, you need to enforce good oral health habits to protect their teeth in the future. Consistency is key.
Protect your children’s oral health
- More than 51 million school hours are lost each year because of dental-related illness.
- Tooth decay remains one of the most common diseases of childhood.
- About one-third of persons across all age groups have untreated tooth decay.
- More than half of children aged 5-9 have had at least one cavity or filling; 78 percent of 17-year-olds have experienced tooth decay.
- By age 17, more than 7 percent of children have lost at least one permanent tooth to decay.
Fewer than one in five Medicaid-covered children had a preventive dental visit during a year-long study two weeks!! Take advantage of your insurance and the benefits you pay for. Read more on that here.
A Quiz For Parents
- All children older than 6 months should receive a fluoride supplement every day. True Or False ?
- Parents should start cleaning their child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth appears. True Or False ?
- Parents should start brushing their child’s teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride at age 3. True or False ?
- Children younger than 6 years should use enough toothpaste with fluoride to cover the toothbrush. True or False ?
- Parents should brush their child’s teeth twice a day until the child can handle the toothbrush alone. True or False ?
- Young children should always use fluoride mouth rinses after brushing. True or False ?
About the doctor:
Dr. Sapana Majmudar is one of the top dentist in Fremont, CA. Her clinic, Serene Dental, serves Fremont and the surrounding cities of Newark, Union City, Hayward, Milpitas, Pleasanton, Dublin and San Jose. We have been known for quality dental care and customer satisfaction for more than 20 years. The services include complete family dentistry, orthodontics, cosmetics, pediatric, periodontics, restorative, implants, preventive dental care and much more. Serene Dental is located on Mowry Ave, near 880, next to Wells Fargo Bank in Fremont, CA.