Nothing is more precious than your child’s smile. As a parent, you want to ensure you do everything you can to nurture their oral health as they grow. Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about children’s dental health that can leave a lasting mark on their smiles. Here are 5 things your pediatric dentist in Northampton wants every parent to know to support their oral health.
1. Early Oral Hygiene is Essential
You don’t want to wait for the baby teeth to erupt to introduce an oral hygiene routine. Bacteria and plaque can still occur. You can use a wet soft cloth to gently wipe your baby’s gums until their first teeth emerge. After, you can introduce daily brushing using a small toothbrush. Making oral hygiene a part of their routine from an early age will strengthen their commitment to brushing and flossing later.
2. Every Baby Tooth is Important
Baby teeth are only in place for a few short years before they loosen and fall out. While they may not last forever, they play important roles. The primary teeth allow your child to learn how to eat while acting as placeholders for the adult teeth. They also affect your child’s speech and development while serving as placeholders for the adult teeth.
3. Cavities Are More Common Than Asthma
Tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic condition for children in America. It’s even more common than childhood asthma. You can keep cavities at bay by encouraging a healthy diet that’s limited in sugars and starches. With a solid oral hygiene routine at home and regular care from a pediatric dentist, you can safeguard their smile from decay.
4. Children Need Cleanings and Checkups
Everyone over the age of 2 should have a cleaning and checkup every 6 months. However, many dentists recommend an appointment before turning one year old. Children’s dentistry focuses on prevention to lessen the likelihood of needing intervention later. It also allows your child to build a trusted relationship with their dental team for stress-free appointments.
5. Bite and Alignment Matter
Besides the health of your child’s teeth, their positioning is equally important. Poor oral habits can affect the way the upper and lower teeth come together, like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting. This can affect your child’s ability to eat and speak properly, while overcrowded or gapped teeth can lead to dental problems, like decay.
Your pediatric dentist will recommend an orthodontic consultation around the age of 7. Early intervention corrects bite and alignment concerns to prevent needing a lengthy treatment down the road.
As a parent, it’s impossible to know everything about your child’s teeth. If you have any questions about your child’s dental health or development, don’t hesitate to contact their pediatric dentist.
About Dr. Marie Tremblay
Dr. Tremblay earned her dental degree at the University of Montreal before continuing her training in pediatric dentistry. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and an active member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Tremblay is one of three pediatric dentists we have on staff. Contact our office today to schedule your child’s cleaning and checkup.