Controlling what your child consumes when they are infants and toddlers is easy; however, as they grow the control begins to loosen. Oral health for children is critically important as baby teeth pave the way for permanent teeth … we must rely on those permanent teeth for life. Your child should begin visiting their pediatric dentist around the age of twelve months.
This early appointment usually involves an examination to alert the caregivers of any concerns that are evident. This is also a perfect opportunity to learn the best way to care for children’s teeth as they grow.
Infants – During the first few months of life your child either nurses or relies on formula. No teeth are evident, however, they were actually forming in the womb.
Toddlers – Soft foods are introduced at four to six months of age as teeth begin to emerge. As soon as the child can sit up, brushing their few teeth with an age appropriate toothpaste and toothbrush should be done daily.
As your toddlers grow, their interest in trying different foods will begin. This is the perfect opportunity to introduce healthy foods into their diet on a daily basis … fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, proteins, and healthy grains should make up their basic diet. If you don’t provide sugary snacks and beverages, your child will never miss them. Of course, occasional treats are OK, but they do not need to be consumed every day.
Once your child starts off to school, they will become exposed to what other children are eating. Providing a healthy start will hopefully carry over as your child learns that there are other choices out there. Cookies, candy, chips, and soda may be OK for special occasions, but as a daily staple they are a poor choice both for your child’s oral health and overall well being.
Encourage your child to drink water or milk; fruit juices and “healthy” sports drinks are loaded with sugar. Soda is very hard on teeth, and can be a difficult habit to break.
Teach your child about the importance of taking care of their teeth. They should be brushing at least twice every day and flossing once daily. In addition to a healthy diet and daily oral maintenance, they should be seen by the pediatric dentist every six months for teeth cleaning and dental exam.
Contact our team to schedule your child’s appointment!