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Instill good dental hygiene habits now to ensure your children don’t experience the pain and discomfort of oral health issues later. Wondering if it is too early to start practicing dental hygiene with your child? You might be surprised by the recommendations of dental professionals.

Some common questions regarding children brushing teeth include:

At what age should my child start brushing their teeth?

Providers urge parents to start at an early age; don’t delay. Some suggest getting a child used to the brush by gently massaging the gums before teeth break through. At the very-least, start brushing at the first sign of a baby tooth.

When should my child see a dentist?

Make sure that you and your child see a dentist by their first birthday. This typically coincides with around six-months after they get their first baby teeth. If your child gets baby teeth sooner or you suspect a problem, make the appointment sooner.

Is a doctor’s visit enough?

No, it is not; though family providers can be helpful and reassuring, you need to begin having regular dental visits set up for your child. Only a dentist will be able to detect and treat early signs of an issue while also providing the preventative dental care that your child will need. It is okay to ask your doctor for a dental referral, however, if needed.

What do we have to be worried about?

Did you know that dental disease is the most common chronic disease among children today? Periodontal disease causes bad breath, tooth decay, and tooth loss, not to mention pain and stigma; don’t let your child be impacted by this condition.

How much toothpaste should a child use?

Only use a small swipe of toothpaste if your child is under the age of three. Children aged three-to-six can use a dollop the size of a pea. Regardless of the age, never let your children brush unsupervised when they are under age six.

Is toothpaste toxic for younger children?

Some parents may have concerns about their children using fluoride toothpastes at a young age; many studies have shown that the younger the child, the more toothpaste they are likely to swallow and consume. Older kids tend to spit-out the toothpaste and are less at-risk of ingesting toothpastes. The solution is to teach your children to spit, not consume, toothpaste during brushing.

What about rinsing?

Provide plenty of tap water, most municipalities enhance it with fluoride, and rinse after meals and snacks to prevent tooth decay and dental issues. Also, never put sugary drinks in bottles or cups and allow children to go to sleep; the sugars wreak havoc on your child’s tooth enamel.

What you do at home is as important as regular dental visits are. Start teaching good habits now so that your children will adopt good oral hygiene when they are adults. It is a win-win situation! Make an appointment for an examination and cleaning today with Crossland Dental Associates or your dentist in Mt Pleasant, SC.