Children’s dental health month just wrapped up, but your child’s dental health care needs to be taken care of year-round.

If you haven’t scheduled an appointment with us for your child, and it’s been more than six months since his or her last appointment, we recommend you do so soon.

At Lincoln Dental Associates, we want your child to have strong and healthy teeth from the very beginning. Regular visits to our office plays an important role in this process.

We also want to help you take care of your child’s teeth since good, proper oral hygiene happens at home.

Whether you’re expecting your first child or you have recently welcomed your new addition to your family recently, here are some recommendations on how to start your children’s dental health off on the right foot:

A Little About Baby Teeth

A baby’s teeth begin growing ad forming before he or she is even born. At six months, a baby’s first set of teeth begin erupting through the gum line. By the age of three, all the baby teeth should have erupted. From age six through twelve, a child’s baby teeth will fall out, giving way to the adult, permanent teeth. Wisdom teeth are the last to grow in, often around the age of 21. In some cases, the wisdom teeth will be pulled out to ensure proper alignment of other teeth.

Baby teeth and adult teeth often come-in and fall out in pairs and the order in which they come in will also dictate the order in which they fall out.

A Baby’s First Visit

We highly recommend that parents bring their babies in for their first dental appointment as early as possible, even before any of their teeth have erupted. This is often around six months of age. By the age of three, we would like to see your child for his or her first dental examination and cleaning.

The earlier that a child is introduced to the dentist and the dental office, the less frightened they will be of going to the dentist. The purpose of the first dental office visit is to introduce your child to the dentist and the dental office environment. Even before their first teeth erupt, our pediatric dentists can diagnose possible, future dental issues that the parents should be aware of.

How to Care for Your Child’s Teeth

It is recommended that parents begin caring for their child’s oral health as soon as possible. Before any teeth erupt, a moist, soft washcloth should be gently massaged over the baby’s gums. As the baby teeth grow in, a soft, child-sized toothbrush with a small amount on kid-safe toothpaste is to be used. Parents should brush their child’s teeth until they are old enough to brush their teeth themselves. At this age, it is recommended that flossing has become a part of the teeth cleaning routine.

By the child’s first birthday, he or she should see their pediatric dentist every six months for a check-up and teeth cleaning.

Besides regularly wiping your baby’s gums with a moist, soft washcloth, it is highly recommended that babies don’t go to be with a bottle of milk or juice. The sugar of these beverages can accumulate on the surfaces of gums.

Thumb sucking is also another habit that should be broken after the age of two. Prolonged thumb sucking can cause teeth to shift, become crooked and protrude out. Severely crooked teeth can lead to the premature losing of baby teeth and improper growth of permanent teeth.

Your child’s dental care is important and the sooner it is properly cared for, the great the chance your child’s teeth and gums will be off to a good start. Proper at-home teeth cleaning and flossing and regular, six-month dental exams and cleanings are crucial components in starting your child’s dental health off on the right foot.

At Lincoln Dental Associates, we want your child to have the best oral health possible. We’ll also help you instill proper oral hygiene in your children so they can have strong teeth and gums for many years to come. If you haven’t already done so, contact us today to schedule an appointment for your little one.