When infants first grow teeth they are not used to having them cleaned. Many dental professionals recommend using a washcloth and running it along the teeth until enough emerge for brushing. Dentists vary on when to begin brushing. When parents feel unsure about how to approach this process, it helps to consult a pediatric dentist. He or she can describe the options as well as the pros and cons.
The following list describes some tips for effective tooth care for young people:
1. Children should begin using a new toothbrush every quarter of the year. Do not utilize a toothbrush that someone else has previously brushed with.
2. Parents, discuss your child’s fluoride needs with a pediatric dentist. He or she can advise regarding the best sources of fluoride and when to begin using fluoridated toothpaste.
3. Parents, start flossing children’s teeth as soon as two teeth appear next to each other. Initially, using floss picks serves as a good alternative to traditional floss.
4. Parents, talk about dental sealants with your child’s dentist. Understand the positive and negative aspects of these, including how they can reduce risk of cavities.
About the author: Based in Redwood Shores, California, Dr. Katalina Ramirez treats numerous children through her pediatric dentistry practice. Previously, she taught dental students at the University of Minnesota and the University of the Pacific. Dr. Katalina Ramirez engages patients with stuffed animals and entertains them with televisions in the examination suites.