Oral Health Instructions and Visits to the Dentist for Your Children

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Joshua D Barnes, Dental Technician
  • 9th Aerospace Medicine Squadron
Developing oral hygiene habits early is essential in preventing cavities and helps keep your child's teeth last into adulthood. Set a good example by allowing your child observe you brushing your teeth and practice it every day will go a long way in maintaining healthy gums and teeth. This article will cover habits to promote good oral health and inform you when to take your child to the dentist.

You may start gently cleaning your child's mouth before teeth have erupted. Clean your baby's gums with your finger wrapped in moist gauze or soft cloth after each feeding. This serves two purposes: it removes plaque and residual food off gums and gets your child used to having a toothbrush placed in the mouth when they get old enough. As soon as the first tooth comes in, start cleaning gently with wash cloth or rubber finger toothbrush and take your child for a check-up with a dentist. Usually nothing is needed on the first visit but, the dentist can detect problems early and provide import advice.

Start introducing a baby toothbrush once your child is able to handle a spoon. Assist and supervise with brushing until they can properly and safely do it themselves, usually around 6-7 yrs old. Be cautious about giving tooth paste to kids under 2-yrs old. Ask your dentist for recommendations before you do. Brush teeth with your children so that they can observe and model after you. Have fun doing it together. Once they've mastered the skill in brushing, introduce flossing. Flossing helps clean surfaces between teeth that brush bristles cannot reach. Brushing and flossing are important habits to develop early and keep for a lifetime.

If you have any questions please call the dental clinic at 634-4781