Pediatric Oral Care, When Should You Start to Care?

by Donna Pleis

Very Young Boy Brushing Teeth
It’s never too early to begin caring for the teeth.

According to The American Dental Association within a few days of birth, you can begin gently wiping your baby’s gums clean with a clean and moist washcloth or gauze pad.  Once teeth appear, gently brush them with a child-sized toothbrush and some water.  Most parents know how hard it is to get children to brush their teeth.  Establishing a routine and comfort level will improve compliance.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends using a ‘smear’ of fluoridated toothpaste on children under age 2.  As the child adds teeth you can increase the amount of toothpaste to no more than a pea-size amount.  Keep in mind that most children do not develop the ability to spit effectively until the age of 5.  When your child has two teeth that touch, floss the teeth each day as well.  Keep in mind that even when your children begin to brush on their own, you should still supervise their brushing to make sure they are establishing the right habits.

An inexpensive powered toothbrush, like a Spinbrush, can be an advantage for parents that struggle with a reluctant child.

Your baby should visit the dentist soon after the first tooth emerges, even if there is only one tooth.  The American Dental Association offers these suggestions to help parents plan baby’s first dental visit:

  • Prepare your child by talking about going to the dentist and what is going to happen.
  • Do not bribe or threaten your child to visit the dentist.
  • Schedule the appointment in the morning, when children are often well-rested and tend to be more cooperative.
  • Your child will pick up on your concerns and anxiety so be positive about the experience.

While going to the dentist may seem like a big step for a young child, the experience can be less stressful for you knowing that your costs can be reduced up to 50%. A significant discount like this becomes a reality when you choose a ConfiDent® dental discount plan through Careington® and have your tooth pulled by a Careington participating dentist. Just click on the link to the right and start saving today.