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It may not seem logical, but infants and small children can get cavities! All 20 primary teeth (also called milk teeth) are already in their jaws when babies are born. The first (usually the lower front) erupt through the gums at around 6 months old. The rest straggle in by age 3.
Children should see a dentist after their first teeth break through and no later than right after their first birthday. We at the office of Crystal Lake know that preventive dental treatment will help our patients enjoy the benefits of a healthy and beautiful smile. Our comprehensive program of care is designed to protect our patients’ teeth.
You as a parent can also play a part in reducing the risk of dental disease in your child. Here’s how.
Don’t wait for your baby’s first tooth to erupt to lightly wipe her (or his) gums with a moist cloth or tissue after each meal.
When her first teeth erupt, use a child-sized toothbrush with ultra-soft bristles to tenderly brush them twice a day. A dab (the size of a grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste is enough. You will have to do the brushing until she’s old enough to confidently and effectively perform it herself.
As soon as two teeth that touch each other spring up, employ dental floss to remove food particles between her teeth and under her gums. Again, you’ll have to do it until her manual dexterity is capable. Interdental floss picks or pre-threaded flossing tools make the job easier for little hands.
When she’s between ages 3 and 6, help her refine her abilities to brush each tooth’s surface and to effectively floss. Get her into the habit of brushing twice a day for two minutes each time.
Lastly, monitor what your child eats. The bacteria that promote cavities love to feed on sugary foods and beverages.
For a pediatric dental practice that will provide your child with superior care, look no further than Crystal Lake. To make an appointment, please contact us today.