Introducing Healthy Dental Habits for Life

Developing healthy habits at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a great start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. In celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month, we have answered common questions about a child’s dental care.

Q: At what age should I begin a daily oral hygiene regimen with my child?

A: Healthy oral habits should begin before their teeth grow in. This may involve using gauze to wipe the gums or a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the plaque from newly erupting baby teeth. By age two, when most children have all of their primary teeth, it is important to introduce flossing to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing and flossing with your children are great ways to promote these healthy habits.

Q: What is the best age for a child’s first dental visit?

A: A child’s first dental visit should be around 2 years old. It is crucial for parents to create a positive experience for their child’s first dental visit. Getting children to associate a positive experience with going to the dentist is an important step in preventing dental fears from developing.  

Q: What are the benefits of fluoride?

A: Fluoride is a helpful tool in achieving great oral health. It is a nutritional supplement that strengthens tooth enamel and prevents cavities. Ask your pediatrician for fluoride drops for your baby or multi-vitamins containing fluoride. In-office topical fluoride applications, rinses and fluoride toothpaste are other methods to assist in cavity prevention.

Q: What are sealants, and how can they prevent cavities?

A: Permanent teeth start to erupt at 6 to 7 years of age. Once the permanent molars erupt, it is important to consider sealants to help prevent cavities in chewing surfaces. Sealants create a barrier, protecting the enamel in cavity-prone areas from decay-causing bacteria and plaque.

Q: How can I protect my child’s teeth during athletic activities?

A: Remembering to protect your child’s teeth during sports is also crucial to optimal oral health. A mouthguard is an essential piece of athletic equipment that can help prevent broken teeth and jaw injuries. Because sports-related injuries can cost thousands of dollars in treatment, a custom mouthguard is a worthwhile investment.

We know it’s not easy to get your kids excited to go see the dentist, but starting good habits at an early age can make those appointments much easier and less frequent. At Cape May Dental Associates, we see children of all ages.

Cape May Dental Associates is located at 411 Park Blvd., Cape May, NJ 08204. For more information, visit capemaydental.com, call (609) 884-5335, follow Cape May Dental on Facebook or email Dr. Ee at contact@capemaydental.com.