When to Take Them to the Dentist
Dr. Theriot likes to see your children around age two or three. That’s when their baby molars have usually erupted and need to be checked. Don’t wait until your child has a problem because when there is a toothache or some other problem, it is an anxious time, and this can negatively affect their attitude toward dentistry for the rest of their life. If you bring them in before there is a problem, it can be a fun visit and help them develop good habits.
Complex issues can require a pediatric dentist specialist’s attention, but for ordinary and routine care, we love caring for your child’s smile!
Tips for Younger Children
From an early age, children should know that brushing is a non-negotiable part of their daily routine. One parent found that smelling a child’s breath to check if they had brushed was a very effective way to help them want to brush. Praising how they smelled helped create an association between brushing and social acceptability.
Children tend to swallow toothpaste, which isn’t too dangerous if it is only in small amounts. Avoid problems by using a pea-size amount of toothpaste and encouraging them to spit early on. Most kids will think this is fun!
Find a variety of toothpaste your child likes. Many toothpastes have strong flavors that can seem harsh to little mouths (even some kids’ brands).
Make brushing seem more like play and less like a chore. Pretend to brush a stuffed animal’s teeth or have them brush their teeth to music. A two-minute song can encourage them to keep brushing for more than just a few seconds.
Dental Care Tips for Older Children
Getting fluoride treatments can be helpful for children, especially once their adult teeth come in. Fluoride helps teeth resist the process of decay and can even combat existing early decay lesions.
Floss your child’s teeth after their baby molars have erupted around age 2 or 3. Many cavities start between the teeth, an area impossible to clean with a toothbrush alone.
Children should floss on their own as soon as they can manage the precision it takes to get between every tooth. For many children, they can handle this at around age 8 or 9. Present this to them as something grownups do to make it more appealing. Of course, you need to floss yourself before you can ask them to do so!