The establishment of lasting, healthy oral habits begins as soon as the first teeth break through the gums. As a pediatric dentist, Dr. Miller will provide the dental services a growing smile needs to promote healthy oral development and our team works to support parents and caregivers in the journey to adulthood. Your role is significant in the overall development of your child and will impact their perception of the importance of a healthy smile.
Dr. Miller recommends that babies visit our Winter Park dental office as soon as the first teeth appear, or by their first birthday. This first visit enables Dr. Miller to perform an early evaluation of your child’s oral development and gives your baby the opportunity to begin to familiarize themselves with our office setting and our team. We will provide age-appropriate advice for taking care of your child’s developing smile to help them avoid common dental concerns such as decay and gum disease.
Toothbrushing in Infants
Parents should brush their baby’s teeth after the age of 6 months or as soon as they break through the gums, starting with gentle wiping using a clean, soft cloth or sterile gauze. As the primary teeth continue to emerge, use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a smear (very small amount) of ADA approved fluoride toothpaste. Your child will become accustomed to cleaning their teeth, the texture and taste of toothpaste.
Toothbrushing in Preschoolers
As your child develops a full set of primary teeth, it is important to develop the habit of brushing their teeth twice a day. Once all the teeth are in, a pea-sized amount of toothpaste can be used and brushing should last about two minutes. If the teeth are touching, begin flossing once a day. Our team can recommend easy to use products for keeping your child’s growing smile clean and healthy between visits.
Transitioning to Independent Oral Care
Parents and caregivers can help a child begin to manage their own daily oral hygiene once they are about 9 years of age. Taking the time to demonstrate and then monitor daily toothbrushing and flossing will not only encourage good habits but also help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. During their regular office visits, we will also show them how to brush correctly and offer personalized advice to address any risk factors they may have.
Is Swallowing Toothpaste Dangerous?
Toothpaste can be harmful if a large amount is ingested. Parents and caregivers should help a young child and monitor an older child to be sure they are not swallowing the toothpaste and rinsing after brushing.