As you watch babies grow their first teeth, chances are you’re not thinking about them someday needing braces or Invisalign in Gainesville. After all, their tiny, pearly white baby teeth look perfect! But in case that they eventually do need braces, the team at Studio32 Orthodontics wants to help you prepare them for the best experience as early as possible. The sooner a child can develop good oral habits, the earlier they’ll enjoy great oral health. Here are four ways to help children prepare for braces, starting at birth!
Keep Your Baby’s Gums Clean
Gum health is an important part of oral health at any age. A baby’s gums can retain milk or formula residue, both of which contain sugar that helps plaque develop. Babies begin growing their primary teeth (baby teeth) around the age of 6 months. Don’t worry about using a brush to keep your baby’s gums and new teeth clean at this age. Simply use a moist cloth to wipe their gums and teeth after each meal.
Visit The Dentist By Age 1
It’s recommended to have babies visit the dentist within six months of their first teeth erupting or by age 1, whichever happens first. During this visit, you’ll learn their oral health and any particular dental needs they may have, such as those related to development, teething, bite, and risk of cavities.
Keep in mind that most children can’t sit through a full dental exam before age 3. Older babies and toddlers might be scared to visit the dentist for the first time, but Studio32 Orthodontics has two helpful tips to ease their concerns.
Bring Your Child To Your Checkup
If babies are 1 year old or younger when they visit the dentist for the first time, they’re probably too young to be nervous. By bringing them along for your dental checkups, they’ll learn that visiting the dentist is nothing to be afraid of.
Don’t Rush The Appointment
If you make a dental appointment for your baby or toddler, allow for plenty of time in your schedule and try not to program it during usual nap time. Make sure the baby eats before arriving but limit snacks until after the checkup.
Start With Toothpaste Around Age 2
Toothpaste shouldn’t be used before age 2. Then, apply a rice grain-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste onto a soft toothbrush. Now is a great time to teach them what any Gainesville orthodontist or dentist would instruct — rinse and spit! Repeating this phrase helps them avoid swallowing much, if any, toothpaste. Children age 3 and older can use up to a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste each time they brush.
Help Your Toddler Learn To Floss
Once your toddler has two or more teeth that touch each other, it’s time to start flossing! Flossing sticks are practical to help parents floss these tiny teeth, especially hard-to-reach molars. Most children begin to floss their own teeth by age 8 or 9. Your dentist can provide helpful tips and guidance about the best technique to use to make flossing an enjoyable experience for everyone!
Orthodontist in Gainesville, FL
If at any time your child’s dentist recommends they visit a Gainesville orthodontist, call Studio32 Orthodontics! Our team believes that a friendly and relaxing environment is a key part of a great orthodontic experience for every patient. Dr. Mullally creates individual treatment plans that give children beautiful and healthy smiles. To schedule a consultation for your child, contact Studio32 Orthodontics today!