There are two aspects to caring for your child’s teeth – visiting a pediatric dentist and maintaining a good oral hygiene routine at home. We have provided some information for you on this page. To learn more and to schedule your child’s appointment with our pediatric dentists in Timonium, Maryland, please call Kids First Pediatric Dentistry at 410-828-5699 today.
Pediatric dentists examine children’s teeth for signs of early decay, track the development of their jaws and teeth, and check for any orthodontic concerns. When you bring your child to our office, our pediatric dentists will carefully examine his or her mouth, provide a professional cleaning and any preventive treatments that may be necessary (such as sealants or fluoride). We will also take the time to address any concerns you may have about your child’s oral health. Our dentists and team can also provide information and instruction on good oral hygiene habits and dietary issues, and strategies for thumb sucking.
Your child’s at-home oral care routine includes a variety of factors, all of which play an important role in maintaining good oral health. These include:
- Diet – Maintaining a healthy, nutritious diet is an important part of maintaining good oral health. We recommend that you discourage sugary diets and continuous snacking.
- Oral Habits – Thumb sucking and pacifier use usually cease as your child ages. However, prolonged use can cause your child’s teeth to become misaligned. We recommend that you use an orthodontically correct model of pacifier to minimize the risk of developmental problems, and invite you to speak with our pediatric dentists for strategies or dental appliances to help your child stop sucking his or her thumb.
- Oral Hygiene – Do not share spoons with your child or clean his or her pacifier with your mouth. This can transmit harmful bacteria from you to your child. Rinse toys and pacifiers with warm water to keep them clean.
- Use of Sippy Cups – Do not fill sippy cups or bottle with sugary or sweet liquids. We recommend that your child begin using regular cups when he or she has developed the motor skills to hold the cup (usually between 12-14 months).
- Brushing – Your child’s teeth should be brushed at least twice each day. Use a soft-bristled brush and a pea-sized drop of toothpaste, and assist your child with brushing his or her teeth until about age 7. We also advise that you gently clean the gums with a clean cloth after each feeding.
- Flossing – Flossing helps to remove plaque from between your child’s teeth, helping to prevent cavities and tooth decay from forming in those areas. Our pediatric dentists can demonstrate the correct way to floss at your child’s appointment.
- Fluoride – Fluoride helps to prevent mineral loss and strengthen your teeth. However, too much fluoride can cause fluorosis, a condition where white specks appear on permanent teeth. Too little fluoride can result in tooth decay. Our pediatric dentists can evaluate your child’s teeth to determine the appropriate amount of fluoride for his or her needs.
To learn more about caring for your child’s teeth, please contact our office to make an appointment with Drs. Bowden, Bowden, and Hernandez.