Even before your child gets teeth there are several habits that you should work on to help ensure good oral health. Getting in the habit of wiping your baby’s mouth with a wet washcloth after nursing or feeding is a great routine to help establish good oral health. There are also some products that can be slipped on the finger and are made of soft material that work well too.
When it comes to diet, it is best not to put infants/toddlers to bed with a bottle/sippy-cup or allow “on demand” breastfeeding during the night. These activities can lead to severe dental decay and build bad habits. If your child must go to bed with something to drink, the only thing that is recommended is water. Flavored waters and sugar-free drinks are discouraged because they reinforce bad habits, and can lead to dental decay also.
As your child begins to get teeth, you may use an appropriate sized toothbrush. You may use fluoride free toothpaste or water alone. Children at the age of three may begin to attempt to brush with fluoride free toothpaste to practice spitting. You may switch over to fluoridated toothpaste once you are confident your child is not swallowing the toothpaste. Parents must always be in control of the amount of toothpaste being used.
As children approach the age of two, many parents experience difficulty in brushing their child’s teeth. Children begin reaching cognitive milestones, and want to become more independent. You may allow your child to brush their teeth, but a parent must always finish for them. If your child cries or fusses while doing this, it is normal as many children this age only want to do things for themselves. You may find laying the child on the floor easier for access and viewing the mouth of a young uncooperative child. Be consistent and build a routine and eventually your child will be more cooperative. It is recommended parents always finish brushing until the child reaches age 6 or 7. Many children still may require indirect supervision even into adolescence.
“The information on this site is provided for educational or informative purposes only; it is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, recommendations or treatment”.
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Dr. Donna Thomas was born and raised in the Kansas City area. She attended St. Mary’s high school and Rockhurst College. She received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 1992 from University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Dentistry. Following graduation, Dr. Thomas completed a 2-year Pediatric Dental Residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha where she also obtained a Masters Degree. Read More...
Dr. Nicole Hawkinson was raised in central Iowa and attended Luther College where she received a degree in biology. She then attended the University of Iowa, College of Dentistry, where she completed her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Dr. Hawkinson went on to continue her education and received a certificate in Pediatric Dentistry at Strong Memorial Hospital and the University of Rochester, NY. She received extensive training in child psychology, dental trauma, sedation, hospital dentistry and development. Read More...
Dr. Claudia Lopez is originally from Bogotá, Colombia. She graduated first in her class at the El Bosque University of Dentistry. In 1992, she moved to the United States and obtained a certification in Pediatric Dentistry from New York University College of Dentistry. Dr. Lopez completed a DDS certificate and one year of dental research fellowship training at Children’s Mercy Hospital and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. Read More...
Dr. Frank Crist attended Park Hill High School where he graduated in 1982. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Kansas State University in 1986 and went on to attend the University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Dentistry where he received his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 1990. Dr. Crist completed a General Practice Residency at the Miami Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida. Read More...
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