Proper home care will help you take care of your teeth!

A child’s primary teeth, sometimes called “baby teeth,” are as important as the permanent adult teeth. Primary teeth typically begin to appear when a baby is between age six months and one year. Good home care will produce healthy teeth which help children chew and speak while maintaining a child’s self esteem. They also hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are developing under the gums.

The ADA recommends that a dentist examine a child within six months of the eruption of the first tooth and no later than the first birthday. Prior to the appearance of an infant’s first tooth, the baby’s mouth and gums should be wiped with a clean, damp cloth following feedings. The caretakers should maintain their own oral health by visiting their dentist and completing any dental treatment that is needed to avoid transferring any cavity causing bacteria to the infant.

A child under the age of 2 should become familiar with a soft bristled toothbrush when the first tooth erupts around 6-8 months of age. The toothbrush should be clean and soaked with warm water and gently brushed over the child’s teeth and gums by the parent. The optimum schedule is brushing after breakfast and before the child goes to bed at night. A child over 3 should continue brushing as stated, however, should be introduced to fluoridated toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association. The best toothbrushes have soft, rounded bristles with a pea sized amount of toothpaste. This toothpaste should cover all surfaces of the mouth and all surfaces should be gently brushed with a toothbrush. The child should spit out all the toothpaste without swallowing it. a child should be supervised while brushing until 10 years of age and encouraged to floss once a day.

Adolescents: Patient’s dental needs change as they mature. the occurrence of cavities increases during these teen years due to change in diet, lack of motivation, orthodontic devices and a more demanding lifestyle.These changes are addressed with each individual patient and varying needs are met. it is important for us to maintain our patient/doctor relationship during these years while giving our patients more responsibility and a feeling of ownership of their health. Tobacco and oral piercing, sports guards..home care along with regular dental visits, fluoride treatments, and a healthy balanced diet are crucial for healthy teeth and gums.