Developing Good Oral Hygiene Habits Should Start in Infancy, Here’s Why!

Even though our little tot’s teeth are impermanent, they still need to be diligently cleaned. Encouraging good oral hygiene habits early has a long lasting positive effect on your child’s teeth and prevents future complications caused by cavities and premature tooth decay. Preventing cavities in kid’s teeth is an important part of a pediatric dentist’s job and we’re here to tell you why.

Premature tooth decay in children can cause damage to their adult teeth

When your child develops a cavity, or needs to have teeth removed early because of poor dental hygiene, it can have serious consequences. Baby teeth play an important role in the development of our gums and jaw. These little teeth act as placeholders for adult teeth, ensuring the jaw develops to accommodate them. When those little teeth are damaged or missing due to early childhood tooth decay, the permanent teeth are more likely to come in crowded, leading to costly orthodontic issues such as crooked teeth, impacted molars or wisdom teeth, and a misaligned bite. Developing a healthy relationship to oral hygiene early on is the best preventative measure in your child’s oral health as they grow.

When should I start caring for my baby’s teeth?

Actually, you should start before any teeth start poking out! We are born with our teeth already nestled just below the gumline. We can give those teeny pearly whites a good start by ensuring the health of the environment they will come into. Using a soft, clean, damp cloth, gently wipe your infant’s gums daily.

When those sweet little teeth do start coming along, switch to a children’s toothbrush with extra soft bristles and gently brush them every day. Your dentist can help you choose a toothpaste that is safe for your tiny ones based on their needs and help you to ensure you’re using the right amount. Small, soft toothbrushes designed for babies and toddlers can be found with other toothbrushes, in the baby aisle at the grocery store, or from your pediatric dentist.

Once your little one has more teeth for chewing, start introducing flossing into their routine. Flossing daily is a key part of your oral health and theirs! Little particles of food cause cavities in areas where our toothbrushes cannot reach. Incorporate flossing early to ensure good oral hygiene habits.

What other ways I can help maintain my kid’s oral health?

To help keep your little one’s teeth healthy as they develop, try these helpful tips

  • Avoid sugary foods and drinks as these can lead to harmful plaque and bacteria
  • Maintain a healthy diet full of lots of fruits, vegetables, and other vitamin and mineral-rich foods
  • Schedule regular appointments with your dentist for cleanings and checkups

Together we can ensure lifelong oral health for your child!

Book your appointment at Acadia dental today. Our Pediatric dentists can help you and your child develop healthy habits, maintain oral health, and treat any cavities as soon as they develop! We are here to ensure the health and well being of your kids as they grow!