child holding a toothbrush

When it comes to oral health, children have their own unique needs and challenges. While adults may be able to care better for their oral health, children require extra attention and care to ensure their oral health is in the best possible condition.

In addition to brushing and flossing, regular visits to the dentist are essential for maintaining good oral health. During these visits, the dentist can check for potential issues and offer tips for maintaining good oral health. But which things should parents know about oral health?

1. Children Lose Teeth at Age 6

Children typically start to lose their baby teeth around the age of 6. The process, known as exfoliation, is a natural part of growing up and is necessary for the healthy development of permanent adult teeth. It allows the body to change and prepares children for adulthood.

It is usual for children to lose a few teeth at a time, and parents need to help their children keep their teeth clean and healthy during this process. However, parents should consult with oral health experts to ensure safety when kids start losing teeth.

2. No Pacifiers at Ages 3 to 4

It is recommended that children stop using pacifiers by the age of 3 to 4 because prolonged pacifier use can lead to dental problems such as crooked teeth and speech delays. Although it is a safe habit for children, parents should not become a recurring habit.

Parents should start weaning their children off pacifiers gradually, as abrupt removal can cause distress. Suppose the child is still attached to the pacifier. In that case, parents should gradually reduce the time the child uses the pacifier and eventually replace it with a toy or other object.

3. Brushing Starts in the First Tooth

It’s important to start brushing your baby’s teeth when their first tooth appears, usually around six months old. Brushing early on will help to prevent tooth decay and cavities. Parents should use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

Brushing should be done twice daily, in the morning and at night. Parents should supervise their children while brushing and help them brush their back teeth and difficult-to-reach areas. But remember to use only a pea-sized toothpaste amount for best results.

4. Tooth Decay is Common in Children

Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases among children. It is caused by bacteria in the mouth that break down the enamel of the teeth, leading to cavities—poor oral hygiene, frequent sugary snacks, and not brushing or flossing lead to it.

To help prevent cavities, parents should make sure their children brush and floss their teeth twice daily and limit their consumption of sugary snacks. Regular visits to the dentist are also crucial for the early detection and treatment of cavities.

5. Tooth Decay is Preventable

Fluoride treatments can help make teeth more resistant to decay, and sealants can be used on the molars to prevent cavities from forming. Healthy lifestyle choices and good oral hygiene habits can help keep your teeth healthy and decay-free for years. Regular visits to the dentist are also crucial for early detection and treatment.

Children’s Oral Health is Vital

Children’s oral health is essential to their overall health and well-being. Poor oral health in childhood can impact a person’s health and quality of life. Ensuring children have the best possible dental care and oral health education is essential.

Deschutes Pediatric Dentistry is the best kid dentist in Bend and Redmond Oregon. We specialize in pediatric dentistry, helping children protect and maintain their oral health as they age. Learn more about children’s oral health needs by browsing our website today.