Parents are advised to bring their children for their first dental checkup by the time the children are a year old, and regular checkups should be continued about every six months. However, there are many things that you can do in between dental checkups with Dr. Kanuga, our dentist in Thousand Oaks, to help keep your child and his or her teeth healthy. In fact, it is never too early to help your child cultivate good dental habits that can last a lifetime.
One of the most important things that you can do is to encourage a healthy diet. Balanced meals that include fresh vegetables and fruit but are low in processed foods and sweet snacks help your child build strong teeth and healthy gums. Limit between-meals snacking, and encourage nutritious snacks, such as carrot sticks and apples instead of chips or cookies. Milk and water should be the go-to drinks instead of juices or soft drinks. If your child enjoys gum, offer only sugar-free gum, which contains cavity-fighting Xylitol.
Good dental hygiene is also critical. Start cleaning his or her mouth right away by using a wet cloth to wipe down the gums until teeth erupt. You can then use a soft-bristled brush to clean the tooth. Supervise brushing habits until your child demonstrates consistently good brushing techniques. Flossing should be done daily. If necessary, dental flossers can be used instead of regular dental floss until your child improves his or her fine motor skills.
Contact our office today to learn more or to schedule a checkup for your child with Dr. Kanuga, our kids dentist in Thousand Oaks.