It’s never too early to start thinking about your child’s dental health. The foundation of proper pediatric dental care begins well before your child loses his or her first tooth. As a parent, it’s important to understand the elements of proper dental care at every stage of your child’s development. Even though baby teeth aren’t meant to last, they deserve to be treated with the same level of care as permanent teeth. Healthy baby teeth are extremely important to your child’s oral health later in life.
Although there are some rules — like avoiding sugary snacks and making regular visits to a pediatric dentist — that are always important to follow for your child’s oral health, each stage of your child’s growth is unique. For example, fluoride toothpaste is important for helping protect a child’s teeth from cavities after age 2, but children younger than 2 should not use it. As your child gets older, it’s essential for you to model good habits when it comes to brushing and flossing, including helping him or her in the morning and at night every day. Even though your child may be able to brush his or her teeth, he or she may still need some assistance to enforce good brushing and flossing habits to help them stick.
The following checklist is intended to provide parents with a guide to proper dental care at each stage in their children’s development — from infancy to school age. Although finding a qualified dentist for your children is important, good oral care requires more than a checkup every six months. Follow this checklist and you can ensure that your children develop good dental habits that will serve them well for their entire lives.
Author bio: Dr. Sheila Harris is owner of Natomas Crossing Dental Care in Sacramento, California. Dr. Harris has been a licensed dentist since 2000, after graduating from Northwestern University School of Dentistry. She is a member of numerous dental organizations and has been selected as one of the top general dentists in the Sacramento area for the past five years.
Children’s Oral Health Checklist For Parents created by Natomas Crossing Dental Care