Teaching Tooth Care Through the Tender Years

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Differing dental care is needed as your body, mouth and teeth age. Consider these factors as you think about your routine oral hygiene habits. Below are some tips to teach yourself and your kids.

Baby Gums and Infant Teeth

Since you aren’t born with anything in your mouth but those cute, little, pink gums, you may think that there is not a lot to do there. But that isn’t true. Oral care starts even before the teeth come in. It’s a good practice to get into as a new parent to be wiping down and massaging your child’s gums with a wet washcloth after every feeding and before bedtime to removing sugars and leftover milk residue. Once the first teeth appear, you can start gentle brushing with a tiny seed-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste and an extra-soft toothbrush.

Childhood Through Teen Years

Healthy habits that are developed from early on will continue strong into childhood and become unquestioned in adulthood, so zealously promote good oral hygiene before the contrarian teen years take hold. Right now, sometime around the ages 2-12, they still believe you are wonderful and know everything. So, to best take advantage of this tender time period, show them the proper way to brush (gently but thoroughly, especially along the gumline), the length of time to do it (2 mins), frequency (2x per day), and the importance of flossing once a day. Get them used to regular (every 6 mos) visits to the dentist for a checkup and professional cleaning. This kind of devotion will pay off in eternally healthy, pearly teeth.

Next come some important dental care phases for youth with wisdom teeth, braces, and more. Adults will have their own issues with tooth whitening, gum disease, etc., but we’ll save these for another blog post. Stay tuned!

If you’d like more education about early oral health care, call Drs. Greer and Henderson and our helpful team at Gentle Touch Family Dentistry. Phone: 248-552-0076, or come by our office in Lathrup Village, Michigan.