Helping your kiddo establish good oral health habits early on is very important. After all, such practices will stick with them throughout their life and will help them not only take good care of their smiles but will help them preserve their overall health too.
As parents, we only want the very best for our children. But we aren’t perfect and there are so many things to learn and keep track of when it comes to looking after the health of our kids. Examples of this include knowing when you should bring your child in to see a pediatric dentist in Irvine for the first time and the type of toothpaste that’s best for them.
To help you out, we’ve written this guide. And, if you have further questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to our local dental office today. Our staff is more than happy to assist you and your family with anything you need.
What to Know
Help your child clean their teeth regularly
No matter what your age, brushing your teeth at least twice every day and flossing at least once a day is necessary to preserve your smile. For children, it’s important to keep their young smiles healthy, otherwise, when their mature teeth start to come in, they could be damaged, decayed, or severely weakened.
Your child’s pediatric dentist will teach them the correct way to brush and floss when they come in for their regular visit; it’s up to you as parents to ensure that they adhere to this practice. Children copy what they see, so brushing with your child can be very beneficial. Buying them a colorful toothbrush will help make this process more fun too.
When should babies use toothpaste?
When your child doesn’t have any teeth, you can keep their mouth clean by wiping it down with a wet cloth. Once their first tooth erupts, however, you’ll need to start brushing it immediately. Use a pea-sized or grain-of-rice-sized dot of toothpaste and gently clean their tooth.
One question that may be on your mind, especially if you’re a first-time parent is whether fluoride is safe to use. The answer: yes, it is! Fluoride is a mineral that’s found naturally in the earth and helps ward off cavities. If you use a limited amount, fluoride – especially fluoride toothpaste – is perfectly fine. A children’s dentist near you will be able to help you out with the correct amount; talk to them for more information or if you have further concerns about this.
Did you know that kids can use too much toothpaste?
That’s right! As the saying goes, too much of one thing can be bad. Just like you shouldn’t let your child have too many chips or sweets, excessive fluoride can actually discolor and even harm their teeth – and this applies to adult smiles as well.
As a rule of thumb, kids up to 3 years of age should use a dot of toothpaste. Kids over three should use a dot that’s about double that size. Eventually, as they grow older, they can use more. Make sure you supervise your child as they brush their teeth so you know just how much they’re using and so you can step in if needed. Also, remind your child to spit out the toothpaste after brushing.
The Best Toothpaste for Kiddos
For starters, any toothpaste box that contains the seal of approval from the American Dental Association (ADA) is safe to use. What does this seal mean, exactly? It means that it’s been proven safe for consumer use.
Listed below are some great ADA approved toothpaste brands for you to consider purchasing:
- Crest Kids’ Cavity Protection – This kind includes both fluoride and material that’s safe for developing enamel.
- Colgate Kids’ Mild Bubble Fruit Flavor – This is great for babies, toddlers, and little kids. The material is sugar-free and does not taste like anything which means that your child won’t think it tastes bad.
- Aquafresh Bubble Mint – Aquafresh has the appropriate amount of fluoride for youngsters and this toothpaste specifically is not abrasive; your child’s smile will remain nice and smooth.
- Tom’s of Maine Natural Anti-Cavity – Similar to Colgate’s this type of toothpaste does not have any sugar or other chemical preservatives. It does, however, come in fun flavors that can definitely make your child more excited about brushing!
When you’re shopping, opting for a toothbrush or toothpaste bottle that has your child’s favorite Disney or Marvel character on it, for example, is another way to help empower and encourage them to take care of their oral health, one step at a time.
Come into Our Local Dental Office!
At Irvine Orthodontics & Children’s Dentistry, we’re here to help all our patients and their families with their oral health. Whether you’re looking to speak to our pediatric dentist or our orthodontist in Irvine, we’re excited to be a part of your journey.
We’re available via phone call, email, or you can stop by our physical location and speak with a member of our staff in person. We cannot wait to work with all of you!