As a parent, it is important to be informed on your child’s oral health and development. This article will cover oral care development from babies to teenagers, potential challenges to look out for, as well as ways to ensure healthy smiles.
Baby Teeth Development
Parents can expect to see the majority of their child’s baby teeth at around 30 months. There are total of 20 baby teeth. Even though baby teeth are temporary, they are still susceptible to cavities and determine how their adult teeth will come in. Therefore, infant dental care is important from the appearance of the very first tooth.
Baby Teeth Challenges
A potential challenge to healthy baby teeth is baby bottle tooth decay. This predominantly affects the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected. One common cause of baby bottle tooth decay is prolonged tooth exposure to sugary drinks. Another cause can occur if you put your baby to bed with a bottle, or when a bottle is used as a pacifier. Thumb sucking and pacifier use are another challenge to healthy baby teeth. Thumb sucking and pacifiers are perfectly acceptable for infants. However, if the habit persists past the age of five or six, it can have a lasting effect on your child’s teeth. The pressure and sucking motion can change your child’s bite, stopping the upper and lower front teeth from touching.
Baby Teeth Care
There are preventive measures parents can take to tackle these challenges. Teaching your child healthy eating habits at an early age can limit the risk of cavities and tooth decay. Parents should not fill their child’s bottles with drinks that contain sugar and should routinely clean pacifiers. They should drink milk and water through the day, and only water at night.
Another way to ensure healthy baby teeth is to start good daily brushing habits. Twice a day, a parent should brush their child's teeth with a child-sized toothbrush using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Oral-B's Manual Winnie the Pooh Baby 0-2 Years Toothbrush has extra-soft bristles and a no-slip grip that's ideal for baby teeth. And Oral-B Baby 0-2 Years Winnie the Pooh Toothpaste has the dentist-recommended fluoride amount for baby teeth.
Toddler Oral Care Development
As a full set of baby teeth come in by age 3, parents should prepare their toddler for their first dental visit. Parents should make this a positive experience. Regular visits to the dentist will help your child feel less anxious about going every six months.
Parents should continue to brush their child's teeth throughout the toddler years. It can be challenging at times as these are the years in which children begin to assert themselves. Oral-B offers ways for parents to make brushing easier and fun. In addition to offering toothbrushes for every age. Oral-B also provides a variety of different character-themed brushes from Disney, Disney Pixar and Star Wars. They may even like their teeth brushed with an Oral-B Electric Toothbrush.
To make brushing even more fun and to ensure that their teeth are brushed for a dentist-recommended two minutes, download the free Disney Magic Timer app from the Apple Store or Google Play.
Primary School Oral Care Development
Primary school kids (ages 6-12) experience the loss of their baby teeth and growth of their permanent adult teeth. Some younger kids may be anxious about losing their teeth and may not like the sight of blood with every lost tooth. However, parents should explain this is all part of growing up and becoming bigger and stronger. Visits from the tooth fairy are a way to ease their nervousness and get them to actually anticipate the loss of the rest of their baby teeth.
To ensure good oral health habits at this stage, parents should limit sugary snacks and drinks, avoiding them altogether if possible. Parents should continue brushing their teeth through age 8, and then supervising them for a few years afterward. Oral-B's Junior Smart Electric Toothbrush is a great brushing option for them from ages 6 to 12, as it has many features to protect their gums while giving a thorough clean.
Teenagers Oral Care Development
As your child ventures into the teenage years, it is crucial to encourage good oral hygiene along with routine dentist visits. Teenagers, in particular, are faced with certain dental issues such as braces or wisdom teeth removal. These procedures are common and a normal part of growing up. Braces are used for more than just a better-looking smile. Straight teeth are easier to clean and keep gums healthy. A challenge while wearing braces, plaque and food particles now have additional places to build up and become trapped. Your teen can use an Oral-B Electric Toothbrush made especially for teens. It comes with an Ortho brush head that is designed to effectively and gently clean around braces.
The new FunZone on the Oral-B App encourages teens to brush by making routine brushing a fun, creative daily habit they can share on social media.
Teenager Oral Care Challenges
Poor eating habits can lead to cavities and/or chronic bad breath. Parents should provide their teens with healthy snack options in the house and avoid buying junk food. Teens are also faced with peer pressures to start smoking, vaping, or get oral piercings. Parents should talk to their teens about the oral health hazards involved in tobacco and vaping use, and the risks of infection associated with piercings. Parents should let them know that having good oral health is part of their overall health, and that they will be seen and treated more like an adult if they have a healthy, beautiful smile.