Pediatric dentistry takes a holistic approach to ensuring the oral health of young patients. An important aspect of this approach involves providing guidance to parents.
Infants and toddlers cannot take care of their teeth without help. They rely on their parents for oral hygiene. As they grow, children also need their parents to teach and enforce habits such as proper nutrition, regular dental visits and good oral hygiene.
As a parent, you have an important role in preventing cavities and other dental issues in your kids. That is why you should take time to talk with your child’s dentist to find out how you can keep your child’s teeth free from tooth decay.
Pediatric dentistry is geared toward the child — and the parent too
The primary role of a parent is to ensure that their child grows up healthy and strong. Among other things, this responsibility involves providing good nutrition, safety, health care and enrichment opportunities. This is a lot to deal with, and it is easy to put pediatric dental care on the back burner. A parent should fight this urge.
Maintaining a child’s oral health is just as important as keeping up with their flu shots. The reason behind this is that oral health affects systemic health and vice versa. This is why parents should get constant guidance from their child’s pediatric dentist. The dentist will help parents create and enforce oral habits that keep their child's teeth in good health.
Here is what a parent should expect from their regular talks with a pediatric dentist.
1. The dentist will provide tips on oral hygiene
For the most part, parents have to learn about childcare hands-on, with the additional help of parenting classes, advice from seasoned parents and input from their pediatrician. The same goes for the oral hygiene of the child.
A pediatric dentist will show the parent how to clean their child’s mouth, from infancy to age five. The guidance will likely include the following:
- The types of cleaning tools that are appropriate at each age
- Recommended oral hygiene products for use by children
- How to teach a toddler to clean their teeth
- How to make sure an older child cleans their teeth twice a day, without fail
2. Parents can learn about proper nutrition and recommended feeding routines
Many parents like to leave their children with a bottle as they sleep. Others give children juice several times over the course of the day. A pediatric dentist will advise parents to limit the amount of sweet beverages that they give to their child. They will also ask parents to avoid leaving a child with a bottle at bedtime. (While milk may not seem like a sweet treat, its effect on a child's teeth proves otherwise.) These seemingly small measures go a long way in preventing cavities.
3. Pediatric dentists may teach parents how to deal with bad habits
Thumb sucking and extended use of a pacifier are habits that can lead to a bad bite, which can lead to cavities. A pediatric dentist will work with parents to devise ways to discourage these habits gradually and permanently.
4. Parents whose children are on long-term medication can learn how to ensure oral health
Children with chronic conditions are often on constant medication. Some of this medication has a considerable amount of sugar in it, which can contribute to cavities. Other kinds of medication can cause side effects such as oral thrush.
A pediatric dentist can advise parents on how to mitigate the effects of such medications. Usually, this involves a stricter oral hygiene routine.
Partner with your child’s dentist to ensure healthy teeth
Healthy teeth are far less expensive than those plagued with dental problems. Begin your child's relationship with pediatric dentistry early in order to set them up for a lifetime of excellent oral health.
Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Pediatric Dentist in New York, NY.
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