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At What Age Does a Kid Friendly Dentist in West Palm Beach Recommend Fluoride Toothpaste for a Child?
In general, a kid friendly dentist in West Palm Beach recommends fluoride toothpaste for a child starting at around the age of 2. There are numerous benefits to fluoride, so it is important kids get enough of it, but it is not good to swallow, especially in larger amounts. It is often better to wait until the child understands how to spit out the toothpaste. Even before the use of fluoride, however, it is important for children to begin good oral hygiene habits early on.
Benefits of fluoride
According to the National Institute of Health, 42% of kids have at least one cavity by the age of 11. There are numerous causes of tooth decay, and these include sugary drinks and food, poor brushing habits and a lack of fluoride. Fluoride can help fight decay and prevent cavities. It does this by making the enamel stronger, which makes it more resistant to the bacteria that lead to cavities.
Many children receive adequate amounts of fluoride early on from drinking water. Children who live in places where there is not fluoridated water may need to begin with fluoride toothpaste earlier than the age of 2 to prevent early decay.
Oral hygiene tips for kids of all ages
Good hygiene should begin early on, and a kid friendly dentist in West Palm Beach offers some advice and tips for parents and children.
Before the first tooth
Even before the first tooth emerges, parents can begin cleaning the baby’s mouth. Use a damp cloth or gauze pad soaked in water, and gently wipe around the gums after each feeding.
Age 8 months to 2 years
Each baby gets the first tooth at different ages, but 8 months is about average. Even with only one tooth present, use a small, soft toothbrush with water or a small dot-sized drop of fluoride-free toothpaste. Between the age of 1 and 2 is a good time to take the toddler to their first dentist appointment. This first appointment introduces the child to the office, hygienist and dentist, and it is typically a short visit to help make the child comfortable.
Age 2 to 6
Around the age of 18 months or 2 years, begin introducing fluoride toothpaste. This is also a good time to get the child excited about taking care of teeth and gums. Let them pick out their own toothbrush and fun, tasty toothpaste, and motivate them to brush for 2 minutes with a game, fun app or song. This should be done twice a day. The child is usually unable to maneuver the toothbrush themselves until around the age of 6, so parents should do the majority of brushing.
Age 6 and older
Parents can start flossing the child’s teeth at an earlier age, but by the age of 6 or 7, the child should be able to do this themselves, along with brushing. This may be a good time to introduce an electric toothbrush, and there may be additional steps they need to take if they wear braces.
It is important children use a fluoride toothpaste to prevent tooth decay and cavities. A kid friendly dentist in West Palm Beach will usually recommend starting around the age of 2, although certain circumstances may call for an earlier start.
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