We all know that pediatric dental care is important, and it’s definitely something that we should be prioritizing for our younger patients. But how does pediatric dentistry differ from dental care for adults? What special considerations do we need to make for kids in the dental world? Keep reading to learn more from our Glendale dentists.
The first thing to keep in mind is that pediatric dental care is very focused on developing good, long-lasting habits. For this reason, consistency is particularly important. It’s a good idea to have your children brush and floss their teeth at the same times every day, so that they begin to think about oral hygiene as a built-in part of their day.
It may also be helpful to use the “tell, show, do” method when teaching your child about dental care. The first step is to explain, in simple terms, how your child should be cleaning his or her smile, and why we do this! We want to emphasize that brushing and flossing are things that we do to stay healthy and to enjoy strong teeth.
After you explain, it’s time to show! Have your child watch you clean your own smile; answer any questions that they may have as they occur. Finally, it’s time for your child to try all of this out for themselves. It’s a great idea to get into the habit of making your dental cleaning routine a family time every day. This allows you to monitor your child’s oral hygiene efforts, and it helps to reinforce the routine.
A special note on dental tools
When you’re working with children who are still so young that they regularly swallow toothpaste, you want to make sure that you are not allowing them to use toothpastes that contains fluoride. Ingesting fluoride at this young age can lead to a condition called dental fluorosis, in which adult teeth develop with entrenched discoloration and textural irregularities. There are specific toothpastes that are made without fluoride to be safe for young patients.
Additionally, your child should be using an appropriately sized toothbrush; the head of the brush needs to be small enough so that it can fit into the back corners of your child’s mouth. There are also pediatric toothbrushes available that have ergonomic handles, which are easy for kids to hold on to.
Give our Glendale pediatric dentists a call to learn more about family dental care, and to schedule a personal consultation for you or your child!