As soon as your child has his first tooth it’s time to start a routine for good dental health habits. Parents will want to clean their baby’s tooth with a soft cloth or an ultra-soft toothbrush. There is no need for toothpaste when the first tooth erupts, a simple cleaning with a clean cloth or clean brush will do. The dentists at Westermeier Martin Dental Care in Buffalo, New York say starting good dental habits early lead to healthy dental habits for a lifetime and protect your child’s teeth as they erupt.
Inadequate tooth brushing and diet can lead to tooth decay in your child’s teeth; this is especially true during the first two years of your child’s life. If your child develops cavities in his or her primary teeth it will increase the risk of developing cavities, also known as caries, in permanent teeth.
Establishing a routine of proper oral hygiene early in life ensures your child develops strong healthy teeth and good dental habits. Model the dental habits you’d like your child to emulate; you are your child’s role model. Make brushing fun and a part of your daily routine. One way to make brushing fun is by playing a song your child loves and urge them to brush until the song ends.
The importance of starting good early dental habits early
Your child’s primary teeth will begin to erupt around the time your child turns six-months-old when he or she gets that first tooth. By the time your child is about two and a half years old, he will have a full set of “baby teeth.” The enamel on your child’s primary teeth is not as strong as it is on a permanent tooth and this makes them susceptible to cavities.
Your child’s primary teeth also play a role in the alignment and spacing of her permanent teeth. This makes it even more imperative that primary teeth are well-cared for.
The permanent teeth are formed in children prior to their turning three-years-old, but they will erupt when your child is about six-years-old. Thirty-two permanent teeth will replace your child’s twenty primary teeth. When your child has both permanent and primary teeth, this is the time when he is at increased risk of caries. If a primary tooth has a cavity, it can attack the immature enamel of a new permanent tooth meaning a permanent tooth could have a cavity before it is fully erupted.
When your child has both permanent and primary teeth, gaps between teeth and loose teeth it may be difficult to brush, but it is even more important that regular brushing occurs.
Your role as a parent means being involved in supervising your child’s tooth brushing until he is about twelve-years-old. You will brush your child’s teeth for the first two years, then teach them to brush on their own as they get older. Let your child brush her teeth, then go over them yourself to clean any hard-to-reach areas.
Give our office a call to determine when a child should have his or her first dental visit. We make your child’s first, and subsequent, visits enjoyable. Making certain your child has good experiences at his dentist office from the beginning sets the stage for a lifetime of good health habits.