5 Essentials for Your Child's Oral Health

Feb 02, 2024

5 Essentials for Your Child's Oral Health

Being a parent is tough — it’s even tougher when everyone and their mother (literally) try to give you their 2 cents. We say, enough with the unsolicited advice. It’s time you took your cues from experts.

This month is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so our team of dentists at Lifetime Dental Care in Woodbridge, Virginia, is taking the opportunity to talk openly with caring parents who want the best for their kids. 

Here’s our comprehensive list of need-to-knows regarding your child’s oral health.

1. The fundamentals of oral health

Our advice for your oral health and your child’s don’t differ much. Everyone in your family should be brushing and flossing twice daily. And it starts earlier than you might realize. Once your child has two teeth that touch, you should begin brushing and flossing them regularly. 

When your kids are little, getting their teeth clean doesn’t take much more than a smear of toothpaste on a soft-bristled brush. 

We also recommend that you supervise your child’s oral hygiene routine until they’re at least 8 years old. Left to their own devices, they’re more likely to rush through the process and swallow too much toothpaste. 

2. Even littles are at risk for cavities

Anyone with teeth is at risk for cavities — even the smallest babies and toddlers. Cavities in youngsters happen more often if you let your child fall asleep with a bottle. The sugars in milk, formula, and juice stack around on your kid’s teeth for hours, gradually eating away at their enamel. 

3. You can pass along cavities

Many parents don’t realize it, but if you’re prone to tooth decay, cavities, and oral health disease, chances are your child is, too. This is true even if you and your family practice excellent oral hygiene. 

That’s why it’s so important to establish healthy habits as early as possible. You can also talk with us about dental sealants, which offer extra protection against cavities. 

4. Bite problems can happen early

Overbites, underbites, and the like can often show up early in your child’s teeth development. Keep an eye on how your child’s teeth fit together, how their jaw functions, and how straight their teeth are. If we catch a bite problem early, we can take steps to avoid orthodontic treatment later on.

5. You can start right away

That’s right — your child’s oral health needs begin even before they get their first tooth. Your cooing newborn may not have any visible teeth, but they’ve had them since the second trimester of pregnancy. 

We recommend you start establishing oral hygiene habits now by rubbing a clean, damp cloth over your baby’s gums to clean off bacteria. 

As your child starts to have teeth and/or gets closer to their first birthday, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that they see a dentist. Though initial appointments are more for evaluations and getting your child used to the dentist than anything, they're still an essential part of their oral health. 

Our team specializes in pediatric density and has years of experience supporting both kids and parents.

If you have more questions or want to get your child in for an appointment with our team, call our office at 703-499-9779 or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment today.