Your best personal asset is also your child's best asset. What is it? it's a bright smile, of course! Healthy teeth and gums help you chew, bite, speak, and look your very best. Parents, you must teach your little ones proper oral hygiene routines early on, and Dr. Courtney Ashby, your Remington, VA, children's dentist, is ready to help you do just that.
Off to a good start
That first baby tooth comes in at about six months of age. Be sure to wipe it clean after each feeding with a moistened cloth or gauze pad. Avoid baby bottle tooth decay by refraining from putting your toddler to bed with a bottle of juice or milk. These fluids collect at the gum line and cause cavities.
Be sure to bring your child to Remington Family Dentistry by age one for his or her first check-up. Really, it's a get-acquainted visit which ensures your child becomes comfortable with the sights and sounds of a dental office. Dr. Ashby will do a quick check of teeth and gums and count those newly erupting teeth.
As your youngster grows, brush and floss his or her teeth using a non-fluoridated toothpaste until age three. From three to six years of age, apply a pea-sized amount and show your child how to brush (back and forth, using short strokes). Up to age 10, most children need careful supervision of the flossing and brushing routines.
In addition, model tooth-friendly eating habits. When parents eat healthy foods, children naturally follow their examples. Be sure to offer:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables (multiple servings per day)
- High fiber breads and rolls
- Dairy products
- High protein meat, fish, and poultry
- Several glasses of water a day to wash teeth and gums and stimulate saliva and its antibacterial properties
It goes without saying, but we'll repeat it anyway: limit processed sugars and carbs to avoid plaque and tartar build-up. Scientific American says that 97 percent of all people in the United States will experience tooth decay in their lifetimes. Certainly, reducing sugary dietary choices could help reduce that statistic, especially if parents start their children on healthy eating habits early.
The American Dental Association says that your youngster should see the dentist every six months for a check-up and hygienic cleaning. This professional tooth scaling and polishing removes harmful plaque and tartar, and the hygienist teaches brushing and flossing techniques best suited to your youngster's needs. When you come to Remington Family Dentistry, you and your children's dentist form a great partnership aimed at keeping your child's smile bright and healthy for life.
Come see us
At Remington Family Dentistry in Remington, VA, we love seeing children, parents, and grandparents, too. Please contact us to arrange your six-month appointments, and ask for tips to improve your child's hygiene routines. Call (540) 439-8335.