When your child has good experiences at the dentist in the early years, he or she will carry those experiences into adulthood. Conversely, negative experiences as a child can create a fearful adult. Some adults are so fearful of the dentist that they only seek treatment when the dental condition has become excruciating. Pain of such magnitude can be a red flag for a serious infection known as an abscess. These types of infections can spread to other parts of the face and body.
Generally, it’s recommended the first dental visit be scheduled before a child’s first birthday. The proper development of baby teeth is critical, because these teeth help to guide the adult ones into proper place. Should you delay preventive treatment, a tooth may be lost prematurely. The adult tooth can grow in crooked.
Big Smile Dental will also assess habits that affect your child’s dental and whole-body health. For instance, prolonged and forceful thumb sucking can push the teeth forward. Putting your child to bed with bottles full of sugary juice promotes baby bottle decay.
Measures such as the application of sealants can prevent decay and early childhood tooth loss. These coatings are applied to the back teeth. Molars are particularly susceptible to decay, because they are hard to reach and the grooves collect food and may be hard to clean properly.
At home, it’s important to encourage proper brushing and flossing techniques. Big Smile Dental sees many adult patients who are not cleaning the way they should, though they may have thought their brushing and flossing was adequate. The following commonly overlooked hygiene tips when engrained in the child at an early age become second nature:
- Brush your teeth, gums, and tongue for at least two minutes, two times a day. Some patients may not be brushing long enough. Diligence counts.
- Floss at least two times daily. Don’t aggressively snap the floss. It doesn’t take a lot of force to do the trick.
- It’s best to consume a drink (besides water) all at once rather than to sip all day. The sugars in many drinks combine with harmful mouth bacteria to produce acids. These acids bathe the teeth and eat away at the protective enamel covering.
The earlier you get your child started with good oral health habits, the better for his or her health and teeth. It’s best to eat and not drink fruit, as many juices contain a large volume of sugars. Sweets and other snacks such as chips have been associated with childhood obesity, Type 2 diabetes and other chronic medical conditions, and they promote dental disease. Advanced gum disease, too, is associated with many chronic conditions ranging from poor diabetes control to cardiovascular disease. Connect or reconnect with Big Smile Dental for the lifelong health of your family.