Dr. Tim Stirneman
All Smiles Dental
Tips for Parents:
The first examination is recommended at the time of the eruption of the first tooth (which occurs on average between the ages of 6 and 12 months) – but no later than 12 months of age. Full exams should take place as soon as the child is able to sit still long enough (between 2-3 years of age).
Limit sippy cups to mealtime and snack time – or at least limit juice in the sippy cup to meal/snack time and swap out the juice for water the rest of the day. Children should never have juice before bed as it will pool in their mouth when they lie down: Constant sipping of milk/juice/sweet liquid does not give a child’s natural saliva a chance to rinse away sugars that case tooth decay. Make a big deal out of drinking from a regular cup; take your toddler shopping to pick out his own big kid cup; have your tot toss out the “baby cups” him/herself.
Teach your child good dental habits early; always supervise your child to ensure they are doing a proper job – allow your child to brush themselves for a short time each time they brush, then parents should step in to help (until around age 4). Children should brush 2x a day with a child-sized toothbrush that has soft bristles. Use a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste to help prevent cavities, but teach your child not to swallow it. Turn it into a game – like ‘find the hidden teeth’ – try to make it fun and engaging.