A Dental Care Guide For Parents

As a parent, it isn't always easy to know how to care for your child's teeth. Unfortunately, dental decay is one of the most common ailments for young children, with 23% of kids between the ages of 2 and 11 dealing with untreated dental cavities. Fortunately, you can do your part to help your child to have a clean, comfortable, beautiful smile by understanding their dental hygiene needs. Here is a brief guide for how to care for your child's teeth throughout their infancy and childhood. 


Even before your child's teeth erupt, you should be caring for their gum line. Wipe their gums with a clean, moist cloth twice a day to remove bacteria from the area. This simple action also promotes blood flow to the area, and it helps children to get used to people touching their teeth and gums. 


By the time your child has teeth, you should be helping them brush twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush. Because children this age are prone to swallowing toothpaste, make sure to use a non-toxic paste meant for children, and only use a dallop the size of a grain of rice. Schedule your child's first dental appointment when their first tooth breaks through, or before their first birthday, whichever comes first.

Kids 3 and Older

At around age 3, you can start using a pea-sized dallop of toothpaste, and teaching your child to spit it out after brushing. After age three, kids should be visiting the dentist every six months, just like the rest of the family. When your child has two teeth that touch, they should be flossing daily.


In addition to encouraging healthy habits such as brushing and flossing, you should also pay attention to the alignment of your teenager's teeth. If they are crooked or jut outwards, your child could be at a higher risk for things like lip lacerations, neck and jaw pain, and dental decay. Since crooked teeth can be harder to brush and floss, misaligned teeth are more than a cosmetic issue. Take your teenager to your dentist for an orthodontic consultation to prevent future problems. 

By understanding the kinds of dental care that your child needs and working hard to make sure that their teeth are clean and healthy, you might be able to help your kid to avoid painful dental cavities and an embarrassing grin. For more information about preventative dental care for your child, contact a dentist like Tots to Teens Dental in your area today.