As your child grows, you make sure you do not miss a suggested doctor's visit from the moment you bring them home, but you may not pay as close attention to their dental health. In fact you may not even think of the dentist until you child already has a full set of teeth or experiences a dental emergency. Since dental health is an important part of your child's overall well-being, you should schedule your child's first dental visit as soon as their first tooth erupts and take care between visits to make sure their teeth stay strong and healthy.

Brush and Clean Before that First Tooth Appears

Babies and toddlers gain a lot of their nutrition from nursing or drinking from a bottle and then move onto soft foods, which mean they spend quite a bit of time with food in their mouth exposing their gums and developing gums to sugars and decay.

You can buy infant and toddler brushes or wipes that are specially designed to help clean your little one's mouth and may even contain fluoride, which is an important component to keeping your child's teeth protected from decay even before you see them. It was once suggested that you not use fluoride for infants and toddlers, new studies show fluoride is safe in limited use, especially in areas where it is not found in the water supply. 

Encourage Proper Brushing Technique

Young children are often reluctant to brush on their own and may fight you when you try to help them out. There is a wide variety of brushes available for purchase that may make brushing more fun. Such as those that play music when placed against the teeth. Often these products help children brush for the proper amount of time. 

You should also teach your children to brush in soft circles instead of roughly brushing back and forth, as this can damage or inflame their gums and often create pain which can make them even more resistant to brushing. 

Flossing can be Fun

You may think you should wait to introduce flossing until your child has the physical ability to floss herself, but it is important to floss teeth as soon as your child has teeth that touch each other. This will not only ensure that detriment and decay are cleaned from between your children's teeth, but also help them become accustomed to it from an early age. Which makes them less likely to complain about it later.

While regularly scheduled dental appointments are important what you do at home is just as important in teaching your child proper dental hygiene and ensuring that they are actively involved in keeping their teeth strong, healthy, and cavity free. To learn more, contact a company like Larsen-Haslem Dental with any questions you have.