Many people believe the dental needs of children and adults are similar, but there are distinct differences between the two. One of the most important is the attitude that children may have towards a visit to the dentist.
However, while it might be natural for children – and even many adults today – to feel uncomfortable visiting the dentist, it is important to realize the benefits of doing so and the earlier on a child feels confident in visiting the dental office, the better.
The sensation of cleaning teeth should be bestowed in a child’s early years, from washing the gums gently with a damp cloth even before teeth have begun to break through the gum tissue. This helps to remove any sugars and acids that might still formulate on the surface of the gums and compromise the teeth or lead to infection of the gum tissue.
Once the teeth begin to emerge, gentle brushing with baby-formulated toothpastes can maintain the health of the teeth while helping show and teach the child the importance of brushing. Early exposure to a dentist can help build trust between the child and the dentist, and can aid in the early detection of dental issues which might be evident.
As the child gets older and teeth fully emerge, flossing can be introduced as an accompaniment to regular brushing, to remove trapped food debris from between teeth. Some dentists might recommend that flossing begin once two adjacent teeth emerge. Every child is different, and a dentist is always on hand to offer help and support in helping maintain a child’s dental health.
Dietary standards should always be monitored; it is natural for children to be attracted to sweet treats, such as cakes and ice cream, and sugary drinks. While these can be acceptable in moderation, they can lead to cavities in the child’s teeth if the sugars left behind on the surface of the teeth is not removed, and so it is always a good idea to try to encourage children to clean their teeth whenever possible afterwards, in addition to their regular dental health regimen.
A child’s early dental health is vitally important to their overall dental health later in life, and habits formed as a child can carry forward into adulthood. It is important to teach children positive practices with dental hygiene and regular dentist visits from a young age.
To learn more about the unique dental needs of your child, contact the Grand Prairie TX office of The Dental Place today at 972-264-5795 to schedule an informative consultation.