Having a child is a big responsibility, one that comes with a seemingly endless amount of important questions. As Dr. Steven Kacel, of a Northbrook dental office, is quick to note, many of these questions involve dental health and proper oral hygiene practices for children. Fortunately, he and his team at Healthy Dental have assembled a list of the top 10 things mothers should know regarding their children’s dental health.
- Baby teeth begin developing under the gums during the sixth week of pregnancy, although they do not erupt through the gums until between 4 to 6 months old.
- The six year-old molars are the first adult teeth which develop in the back of the mouth and do not cause children to lose teeth.
- It’s recommended to floss baby teeth to get your child in the habit.
- Milk before bed without brushing afterwards can increase the chances of childhood cavities.
- A child’s first dental cleaning should be scheduled around age three, when all of their primary teeth have developed. It is also a good time to begin getting your child used to visiting your local dentist in Northbrook.
- Around the age of one you should begin transitioning your child from using a bottle to using a cup.
- Cavities in baby teeth need attention too. Some children do not lose their baby teeth until they are 11 to 13 years old and the bacteria from cavities can spread and cause more serious problems.
- It is a good idea to throw away your child’s toothbrush after they have been sick. Bacteria in your mouth can live on a toothbrush after the illness is gone. Throwing away the toothbrush is a good way to cautiously avoid another bout of the sickness.
- The ADA states, fluoride toothpaste should not be used until your child is old enough to spit out the toothpaste after brushing. This typically is around the age of three but varies by child. Watch your child brush and encourage him or her to spit.
- Children should begin weaning off of thumb sucking habits by the age of three. Younger children often suck their fingers or thumbs subconsciously. At the age of three they are developmentally at an age where they can make the conscious effort to stop.
If you have any other questions about ways to help your child maintain good oral hygiene or any other aspects of oral health, reach out to Steven Kacel, D.D.S., M.A.G.D., F.A.D.I., a dentist in Northbrook, IL, and his friendly staff at his office will happily answer any questions you may have. Call (847) 457-0400 to make an appointment today.