As one of Longmont’s most trusted dentists, Dr. Amy Farmer prides herself in educating all her patients on good oral health habits. What some patients may not know is that good dental health starts at an early age — even before a baby’s first tooth comes in. Because of this, it is important for parents to be proactive with regard to their children’s oral health. Each February, the American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month, an effort to raise awareness and educate parents and children on good oral health. In this blog, Dr. Farmer shares her top dental tips for parents.
Cleaning Your Baby’s Teeth and Gums
Parents should begin cleaning their baby’s gums within a few days of the baby’s birth. Use a clean, moist gauze pad to gently wipe your baby’s gums at least once a day. Brushing should begin once your baby’s first tooth starts to grow in. Be sure to use a smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush your baby’s teeth twice a day.
Know When to Schedule a Dental Checkup
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), children miss more than 51 million school hours per year because of dental problems or related conditions. Regular dental checkups and cleanings play an essential role in preventing dental problems and maintaining optimal oral health. Like adults, children should visit their dentist for routine cleaning and checkup twice a year (once every six months). Keep an eye out for common dental problems among children including tooth sensitivity and toothaches. If your child experiences any of these issues, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.
Getting Your Child Excited about Brushing Their Teeth
As a parent, you may have realized that motivating your child to brush their teeth can be difficult. Here are a few ways you can get your child excited about oral hygiene:
- Pick out a fun toothbrush together.
- Create a story about brushing teeth where the toothbrush is the “good guy.”
- Play a song during brushing time.
- Reward your child for good oral hygiene (e.g., a new toothbrush or taking your child to watch a new movie).
- Download a smartphone app that teaches children about good oral health.
To learn more dental tips or to schedule a dental appointment for you and your child, please contact Dr. Farmer’s office at (303) 776-1480.