Dental Care for Your Infant
Before a baby even breathes their first breath, their dental health is already being affected. This means that, if you are pregnant, not getting enough vitamins and minerals is already setting up your child’s teeth to be brittle and susceptible to cavities. If you’re a pregnant woman you should be treated for gum disease to prevent passing these bacteria onto your child.
Your child will start to get their first teeth at around six months old. Until they reach the approximate age of three, they will continue the teething process. These first few years are very important as far as dental health is concerned. This is when they will learn good hygiene habits and set the pace for their general mouth health.
As soon as your kid has a visible tooth, it is time to start brushing. There are many fluoride-free and child safe kinds of toothpaste out there, but I recommend opting for a toothpaste with fluoride. You do need to watch your children to make sure they do not swallow the “regular” toothpaste, but, considering that 25% of children have at least one cavity by age seven, it is more important than ever to protect their teeth. Do not use a lot of toothpaste on the brush, just a smear until they reach age three, then you can put a small dap on.
As soon as you see your child’s first tooth emerging, schedule a dental visit. Ask your dentist, Dr. JJ. Edderai, 305-947-7999, what techniques are recommended for brushing motion and duration. Be sure to take your kids to all of their follow-up visits. This is the best chance to detect decay early enough to treat it. Recent studies have shown that children who saw the dentist earlier in life had smaller dental bills, in years to come, then those who didn’t go in until later in childhood. This amount was up to 40% lower.
Tooth decay is the most common of childhood maladies. It can affect the way your children eat, how well they sleep, and how easily they learn. Especially if they have pain from their cavities. Most parents don’t realize that flossing daily is recommended for kids too. Do not put this off just because your kid has their “baby teeth.” Before your child even sprouts teeth, bacteria is forming in their mouth. As they eat more foods, they are exposed to more bacteria.
As soon as there are two teeth next to each other start helping them floss. You can use the flossers designed for kids but slide it back and forth, from one tooth to the one next to it, to remove the most residue and bacteria.
If you had a lot of cavities when you were a kid, there is a higher chance your kids will too. This may be caused by genetics or bad habits, but your dentist will need to know in order to maintain the best treatment. Often, when caught soon enough, cavities can be treated with fluoride instead of drills. This teaches your kids to not fear the dentist, which will keep them more willing to go.
On one last note, do not share spoons, cups or forks with your kids and never rinse your baby’s pacifier with your mouth or saliva (you’d be surprised how many people do this). This transfers your bacteria to their mouth. Trust me, the bacteria in adult mouths is way worse and you don’t want to transfer these “adult bacteria” into baby immune systems.
Before treating gum, tooth, or other oral problems consult with Dr. JJ Edderai. A dental check-up every three to four months will allow Dr. Edderai to keep a watchful eye on your oral health and prevent cavities before they start. For answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, visit my FAQ page at http://www.northmiamibeachdentist.com/faqs/.
Copyright Dr. Jean-Jacques Edderai -2016