Dental Care for Your Young Child

The best way to begin a lifetime of excellent oral health care is to start early. Your child’s first visit to our office should occur around 12 months of age. This is the ideal time to evaluate your child’s oral health.

During the first visit, we will assess your child’s growth and development as well as risk factors for dental disease. We will review with you an oral health program for your child, and answer any questions or concerns you might have.

At Home Care

Excellent oral health begins at home. Here are some tips to help your child maintain good dental health and reduce the risk of cavities and other dental problems:

  • Oral care should begin even before the teeth erupt to ensure a pattern of good dental habits; gently wipe the gums with a soft wet cloth or gauze. Graduate to a soft toothbrush as the teeth begin to erupt. Flossing can be introduced as the spacing between the teeth close. We recommend you brush your child’s teeth twice a day and floss once a day.
  • At-will bottle/breast-feeding should be avoided after the first primary (baby) teeth begin to erupt.
  • Children should not fall asleep with a bottle. Following bottle/breast-feeding, gently wipe or brush the teeth before putting your child to bed.
  • Encourage your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday.
  • Drinking juice from a bottle or sippy cup should be avoided. When juice is offered, it should not exceed 4 ounces per day.
  • Children should be weaned from the bottle at 12-15 months of age.
  • Thumb sucking/pacifier use is perfectly normal for infants; most stop around age 2. If your child does not, begin to discourage around age 3.
  • Our doctors will monitor your child’s growth and development and make individual recommendations to you regarding your child’s thumb/pacifier use.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups every six months to ensure your child’s dental health.

 

Good oral health is vital to total health. When treating children, we often work with pediatricians, other physicians, and dental specialists. All young people are best served by this team approach. We look forward to being an important part of your child’s health team.