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How to Ensure Your Child's Teeth and Gums Stay Healthy Now and Later

HowtoEnsureYourChildsTeethandGumsStayHealthyNowandLater

Being a parent can be a rewarding role. But it's also hard work, especially the effort required in keeping children healthy. In that respect, there's one area you don't want to overlook—their dental health.

Taking care of their teeth and gums has two aspects: their current state of dental health and their ongoing development that impacts future health. Fortunately, you can address both the present and the future by focusing on the following areas.

Prioritizing oral hygiene. From the moment your child is born, you'll want to practice daily oral hygiene to keep their teeth and gums clean of disease-causing bacterial plaque. This starts even before teeth erupt—simply wipe their gums with a clean wet cloth after feeding. As teeth emerge, begin brushing each one with a small amount of toothpaste. Around your child's second birthday, start training them to brush and floss on their own.

Limit their sugar intake. The biggest threat to your child's teeth is tooth decay, which is caused by bacteria. These bacteria multiply when they have plenty of sugar available in the mouth, one of their primary food sources. It's important then to reduce the sugar they eat and limit it to mealtimes if possible. Also avoid sending them to bed with a bottle filled with sweetened liquids, including juices and even formula.

Visit the dentist. You're not in this alone—your dentist is your partner for keeping your child's teeth healthy and developing properly. So, begin regular visits when your child's first teeth appear (no later than their first birthday). You should also consider having your child undergo an orthodontic evaluation around age 6 to make sure their bite is developing properly.

Practice oral safety. Over half the dental injuries in children under 7 occur in home settings around furniture. As your child is learning to walk, be aware of things in your home environment like tables and chairs, or hard objects they can place in their mouths. Take action then to move these items or restrict your child's access to them.

Good habits in each of these areas can make it easier to keep your child's teeth and gums healthy and on the right developmental track. That means good dental health today that could carry on into adulthood.

If you would like more information on children's dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Top 10 Oral Health Tips For Children.”

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  • "I don't find it odd to say that I felt like Dr. Gloria Stingley was more than just a "person" to me during my visit... she WAS just wow 💕💕💕💕, her being and conversation is so amazing along with her WORK....oh! and Yes ,😏 watching her take my tooth out was coooolll as ever.She gave my the option to watch what she had to do or not .Watching what she was doing was the best because i got the chance to see my problem become a past tense issue 💕 it was perfect... I'm going back for special procedure 😏... it will be more so on the pleasurable side💕💕💕perfect teeth!"
    -Krista Woods
  • "I was seen on May 24, tooth was broken off recently. During my visit I was offered to fill or to remove old filling or redo all. Filling was removed and redone. I am sooooo grateful for a stress free painless experience, professional service. Dr. Stingley contributed 100% to helping me relax. More than I expected. Thank you...

    I appreciate when Dr. Stingley allowed my input to decide which treatment after her thorough, accurate assessment and recommendations. This displayed to me her expert skills and ability to genuinely care and respect the patient’s needs and wishes. Superb!!!"
    -Kathleen Wright
  • "Let me just say that I am petrified of going to the dentist. However, I finally broke down when I could no longer take the pain of my tooth ache. I called several places that day and no one could get me in. I stumbled up Carter-Rockbridge and the receptionist (Stacy) could hear the pain my voice and somehow was able to squeeze me in that day. The whole staff was very accommodating and helped ease my fear. Their customer service is really amazing!"
    -Monica Blackmon