As a parent, there are many things to think about when raising your children, from education to physical and mental wellbeing.
One important aspect of their health, in particular, is their dental health, and it’s not always easy to know the best way to provide them with the best dental care possible.
There are many things to think about when trying to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy.
To help, we’ve put together some of the most common questions that parents ask so that you can get a better understanding of how to tackle this.
1. When Should I Start Brushing My Child’s Teeth?
This may surprise some people, but you can actually start to take care of your child’s dental health as soon as they are born.
While newborns don’t have any teeth yet, their mouth can still become a hotbed of bacteria, and excessive amounts of this bacteria staying inside their mouth can cause certain health problems down the line.
You can simply wipe their gums gently with a damp, soft cloth, or you can even buy specific brushes or gum massagers, which also help when teething. Once your child’s teeth have come through, however, you’ll definitely need to start brushing them regularly.
It’s important to get your child used to having their teeth brushed as soon as possible and teach them to do it themselves once they’re able to understand so that they develop this as a healthy habit.
2. At What Age Does My Child Need To See A Dentist?
While you can take your child to see the dentist at any age if you have any concerns about their dental health, it’s recommended that they visit the dentist by their first birthday.
This will be a fairly important session, as your dentist will provide you with numerous pieces of advice on the correct brushing techniques for your child and will also check to see if their teeth are growing properly and in the right position.
After their first checkup, you’ll want to regularly bring your child to the dentist to help them avoid any potential fears of these visits.
At least once a year, you should bring your child to see the dentist, but if there are any issues that you notice with the growth of their teeth and complaints of pain, it’s perfectly reasonable to make an appointment.
3. Does My Child Need Orthodontics?
If your child’s teeth aren’t growing correctly, and appear to be either overlapping or growing crooked, then you should strongly consider seeking orthodontic treatment for them.
It’s worth noting that the age you should have braces is not set in stone, but you should strongly consider a visit to the orthodontist with your child if their adult teeth have begun to emerge crooked, which begins to happen around the age of seven years.
Braces will help to straighten teeth and provide your child with a much nicer smile.
Not only will this limit the physical complication that can come from crooked teeth, such as pain and problems with speech, but it can also have a positive impact on their mental health as they won’t feel as self-conscious either.
4. Can My Baby Get Tooth Decay?
You may think that certain dental problems only occur in adults, such as tooth decay. However, it’s possible for even a baby to develop this too.
This is often caused by the frequent contact of sugars on your baby’s teeth from drinking milk, fruit juice, and other drinks.
The bacteria that is found in the mouth will eat and break down these sugars, which result in decay. This decay can cause pain and may lead to the loss of their baby teeth.
However, this doesn’t mean that it’s not as important due to the temporary nature of these teeth. Your child’s baby teeth serve to guide their permanent adult teeth into position.
Losing too many of these teeth too soon can result in their permanent teeth emerging out of alignment.
5. What Other Dental Problems Can Occur?
As well as decay, there are numerous other health problems that your child can experience. Gum disease, fractures, lost teeth, and poorly formed teeth are all possible issues that your child can experience, and seeking the advice and care of your child’s dentist is essential in these instances.
There are steps you can take if your child sustains an injury to their teeth and gums after a fall or during play, but it’s important to have them checked over by a dental expert as soon as possible. This can help to rule out any extensive damage to the gums, jaw, or remaining teeth.
They’ll also be able to advise you on how to proceed in the future. If your child complains of toothache or pain in their gums, this is another sign that something may be wrong and should be followed by a dental appointment.
Pain is generally your body’s way of indicating that something isn’t right, and while it may not be something too serious, a dentist will be able to provide some ways of alleviating that pain, even if it’s just caused by teething.