This article is sponsored by ICTeeth Pediatric Dentistry.
Every first with every child is exciting and memorable. But some firsts are accompanied with worries of how our child might react. Not everyone gets the warm fuzzies when thinking about a trip to the dentist, so we’ve teamed up with Dr. Trey Anderson at ICTeeth to give you a peek at what to expect when it’s time to take your little one for his or her first dental exam as well as other common questions parents ask!
When should a child visit the dentist?
A child should visit the dentist by year one of age or after the appearance of their first tooth, whichever comes first. It is so good for the kids to be exposed to the dentist office at an early age to help overcome any fears they may have about the dentist. We are also able to intervene with any problems we may see early on before it becomes a real problem that would lead to more aggressive treatment. Our goal is for kids to have the healthiest teeth and the earlier we can help create good oral hygiene habits the better for the child, parent and me!
How do I get kids to want to brush and floss?
Just like anything else you want your kids to do, it is important to find something that motivates them. Sing a song while brushing to make it fun or tell them a story for 2 minutes that they only get to hear because they are brushing their teeth. Also, make sure they see you brushing too because our kids want to imitate us. Stress the importance of overall health to the child also. It is important for children to know that brushing our teeth is not just for the health of our mouth, but for our entire body.
How much do snacks/drinks affect oral health in kids?
Sugary snacks and drinks are known to cause cavities, so it makes sense that limiting these foods is most advantageous for our oral health. Make sure to brush their teeth as soon as possible when children eat these foods. Breast Milk and other drinks at bedtime are ok only if they brush their teeth after. NEVER give the child a bottle or sippy cup with anything other than water in their crib or bed with them. This allows the sugar to sit on their teeth all night and is very damaging to their teeth.
Any tips for how to teach my young child to brush?
You should help your child brush their teeth until they are able to effectively brush their teeth alone. This requires both the ability and maturity to realize the importance of brushing their teeth. I often find parents allowing their children to brush alone much earlier than they are ready. You want to see them independently brushing every surface of each tooth before allowing them to brush alone. You can teach your child to brush a quadrant at a time for 30 seconds making sure to get their gums and front, bottom, sides, and back of each tooth, and tongue. You can also teach them to do the upper front, then upper back, lower front, then lower back each for 30 seconds.
Can you talk to us about fluoride?
Cavities have seen a great reduction over the past few decades. This is due in large part to the use of fluoride, an ion that helps strengthen the enamel on your teeth. Consistent application through city drinking water, in office fluoride applications, toothpaste and mouth rinses help reinforce the enamel of your kids’ teeth and decrease the possibility of cavities. We always encourage all our children to have appropriate levels of fluoride to help fight cavities. Kids under the age of 3 should use a smear or rice grain size of toothpaste with fluoride. Kids over 3 should use a pea size of toothpaste with fluoride. And kids that spit consistently can begin to use a fluoridated mouth rinse.
If you think your child might have a tongue or lip tie, contact ICTeeth
at 316-681 for an appointment!
Dr. Trey Anderson, DDS. | Board Certified Pediatric Dentist
After completing his undergrad at the University of Kansas, Dr. Anderson went on to complete his education at the University of Missouri Kansas City Dental School with a residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center Pediatric Dentistry.