1. Start brushing AND flossing EARLY! Even before their first tooth comes in start cleaning their gums with dry gauze. Once they have their first tooth, brush it twice a day.
2. Make sure they see you floss! If they never see their parents floss, most likely they never will!
3. Limit the amount of sugar they eat. I cringe when I go to a restaurant or family activity and see children drinking sugared pop.
4. After brushing their teeth at night…no more milk or juice…just water and straight to bed! Most importantly…no bottles or milk, juice, or formula in bed!
5. If you see anything you are concerned about, bring them into the dentist right away. Their first dental visit should be NO LATER than age 3, even if “all seems alright.”
6. If they have dentist visits twice a year, most likely problems will be found early. Teeth are very small…it doesn’t take long for something small to grow into a major problem.
7. Unless your child is very lucky, most likely they will need to be watched for orthodontic problems. Correction of these problems at the right time makes treatment much easier. People with crowded teeth are much more likely to develop cavities and gum disease.
8. Don’t just “take their word for it” when they tell you they brushed. Parents should have “their turn” every day up to age 5 or 6!
9. As the first permanent molars start coming in about age 6 get them sealed. The deep groves on the biting surface of the teeth are often deeper than a toothbrush can clean into. Sealants decrease decay 80 to 95%!
10. Check their mouths periodically. If something “doesn’t look right” get it checked quickly!
Dr. Gibbs serves the communities of Glen Ellyn, Wheaton,
Lombard, Carol Stream, Naperville, and Lisle. Addison, Elmhurst, Downers
Grove, Glendale Heights, West Chicago, Bloomingdale, Schaumberg, Wood Dale,
Westmont, Winfield, Villa Park, and the Chicago area. See the website at SmileGlenEllyn.com for more information on dentistry and your health!