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5 Tips Every Parent Should Know About Caring for Their Child’s Teeth

Investing in healthy oral habits and preventive treatment when your children are young helps set the stage for a lifetime of sparkling smiles. 

The dental team at Arbours Aesthetic Dentistry in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, is here to help you navigate the journey from the eruption of your baby’s first tooth to that of their last permanent one — and beyond.

In celebration of National Children's Dental Health Month, we share the following five tips about caring for your child’s teeth.

Start dental visits early

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association recommends children first visit the dentist after their first tooth erupts and no later than their first birthday. This first dental visit is typically brief but gives your child a chance to meet the dentist and the dentist an opportunity to examine your child's existing teeth, inspect their bite, and spot any potential problems with their gums or jaw. 

Select a kid-friendly practice, like Arbours Aesthetic Dental, that’s experienced in children’s oral health and knows how to make them feel comfortable. 

Value baby teeth 

Just because these tiny teeth eventually fall out doesn’t mean they aren’t important. The 20 starter teeth not only help your child chew and speak properly. They also serve as placeholders for permanent teeth developing underneath.

Even before the arrival of your child’s first tooth, run a clean, damp washcloth or an infant toothbrush over their gums to remove harmful bacteria. When teeth begin to come in, brush them with a tiny bit of toothpaste, water, and an infant toothbrush. When your baby's teeth touch, you can start flossing between them.

Seal the deal

At about age six, adult teeth start to erupt, including molars in the back. As these teeth begin to arrive, we recommend applying sealant to prevent decay.

Early molars are soft and are difficult for children to clean correctly. Molars have lots of nooks and crannies where bacteria can take up residence. A sealant offers a barrier against bacteria. 

This simple step is hugely effective in staving off cavities due to tooth decay.

Fluoride protection

Fluoride treatments help prevent tooth decay and stop it from worsening. Fluoride is made with fluoride, a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel (outer coating on teeth). Small amounts of fluoride are found in many toothpastes, rinses, and city water sources. However, the fluoride treatments offered in our dental office are significantly more concentrated. 

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a professional fluoride treatment at your dentist’s office every 3, 6, or 12 months, depending on your oral health.

Hone home hygiene

Work with your child to teach healthy home hygiene. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing at least once per day, limiting sugary foods, and visiting the dentist for a routine cleaning and checkup twice a year.

To book a dental appointment for your child (or anyone in the family), contact Arbours Aesthetic Dentistry at 949-393-2183 or online.

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