Dental care is an important activity from the moment your little one is born. This may come as a surprise, since newborns do not have teeth. In fact, many parents may be under the assumption that children do not need a super-high standard of oral care until they are a little older. The truth is, your baby or toddler can be negatively affected by poor oral health. Cavities are prevalent among children of all ages, not just those in school. For this reason, it is crucial to understand your child’s dental needs and how to meet them.
Babies and toddlers are often given a tasty serving of milk or juice to help them go to sleep. This habit may seem innocuous enough, and is surely appreciated by your little one. However, the resulting decay can be devastating. Milk and juice have sugar as well as acid, which “washes” teeth and the mouth, feeding ever-present bacteria. Children who are given such bedtime beverages are at a higher risk for the condition known as “bottle caries,” another description for cavities. To minimize this risk, give water before naps and bedtime.
The Bedtime Routine
Routine is a necessary part of raising a small child, and bedtime brushing should be started as early as possible. As much as toddlers may want to manage this task on their own, parental involvement is vital. Children do not have the motor skills to brush their teeth successfully until about the age of 8. Until this time, parents must follow up on bedtime brushing. A nightly routine sets the stage for lifelong healthy brushing habits.
Encourage Water Consumption
Water is the very best beverage for your teeth and your body as a whole. Encouraging a toddler to drink water may seem an enormous challenge, but the earlier you start, the easier it will be. To make water more appealing, try adding a few pieces of flavorful fruit to the cup, or fruit “ice cubes.”
No one likes getting a cavity. For the small child who is still getting acquainted with dentistry, it is even more important to avoid painful dental problems. Our team is here to support you in raising healthy smiles. Schedule your visit for pediatric dentistry in our Sherwood, OR office. Call (503) 925-9595.