Oral care tips for kids from your Gambrills MD dentist — make healthy hygiene a way of life!
As a dentist and a mother, Dr. Vickii Bingham-Lester of Bingham-Lester Dentistry intimately understands the role that early and consistent dental visits play in children’s confidence, health, and overall well-being. Her goal is to help your child develop health-promoting oral hygiene habits so they become a “way of life” for your child. A comfortable office that feels like home and a friendly dental team complement this mission. Since young children don’t have the dexterity to take care of their own mouths, early childhood visits are also opportunities to provide caregivers with kids oral care tips from our Gambrills, MD office. Get a jumpstart on your child’s oral health – take a look at some of those important tips below!
The earlier we examine your child’s mouth, the better! The formative years of a child’s life (up to around age 8) are critical; UNICEF notes 85% of an individual’s personality and approximately 90% of his or her brain development occurs within this window. Start your child’s relationship with the dental team off right by scheduling those first visits to coincide with the arrival of their first tooth, or even before that! Early visits are all about identifying and resolving problems fast, and about getting your child comfortable with our office. Babies and infants get to know us, and grow up to not fear the dentist.
Baby gums need love, too. It’s important to examine even the youngest, toothless mouths to assure proper oral development. Likewise, it’s important for parents and caregivers to know that baby’s mouths can contain harmful acids, regardless of whether teeth are present or not. So, it’s important to clean their gums at least a couple of times each day with a clean, moist cloth or gauze. In this manner, bacteria and sugars that promote decay are removed.
It’s never too early to encourage a tooth-friendly diet. A diet that is both nutritious and friendly to teeth and gums limits the consumption of sticky starches and sugars that contribute to corrosive acids. Don’t “pacify” your baby with a bottle full of sugary juice, teething rings and pacifiers dipped in honey, or other sugar-laden substances. And, yes, baby teeth matter! They aid in healthy development by helping to guide permanent teeth into their proper position. As children get older, crunchy fruits and vegetables such as the following are great for their health and their mouth by helping clean plaque off their teeth:
Break bad habits. Vigorous and prolonged thumb-sucking and pacifier use may result in the need for myofunctional or orthodontic appliances to resolve development problems, as they alter the roof of your child’s mouth and other oral structures. Offer positive reinforcement or small rewards when your child isn’t practicing these behaviors. Even something as simple as a new toothbrush featuring a child’s favorite cartoon character can help to make good habits (like proper brushing and flossing technique) stick.
During your child’s appointment, we can also discuss preventive, professional options, such as dental sealants and mouthguards, which protect against decay and sports-related oral injuries. Call 410-885-6522. We’re happy to schedule parents’ appointments with pediatric visits for added convenience.