March 14th, 2013 by Signature Family Dentistry
Has your child seen a dentist yet? Starting dental care early is the best way to prevent oral health problems. A visit with your dentist will also enable you to take the best possible care of your children’s teeth at home. Getting your child acquainted with the dental office early helps ease anxiety and fear too.
So when should you get started? We typically recommend a dental visit by your child’s first birthday or 6 months after the first tooth erupts. However, every child is different, so if you have any concerns, you can always give our office a call to determine when that first visit might be necessary.
Interestingly enough, what many people do not realize is that tooth decay can actually get started in infants. Yes, infants! Decay is most commonly caused by prolonged exposure to the natural sugars in milk, which includes both breast and formula fed babies. Wiping your child’s gums with a clean, damp cloth is an easy way to keep sugar and bacteria at bay. This will help protect those new choppers even before they come in!
Never send your child to bed with a bottle containing milk, juice or other sweetened liquids. More importantly, avoid filling a bottle with anything sugary like tea or soft drinks. There will be plenty of time for your kiddos to do damage to their teeth on their own later in life with those types of beverages. For now, stick to the healthy stuff.
What about fluoride? Fluoride is the reduced form of a naturally occurring mineral that is often found in tap or fountain waters. Fluoride makes our teeth more resistant to decay and promotes remineralization, which is the natural healing of teeth. Most municipal water sources contain some level of fluorination, but if you are unsure whether or not it exists in your water supply, you can always ask you local water management facility. If you have concerns about how much fluoride is healthy and whether or not your child should be on a supplement, feel free to ask us!
In addition to early preventative care, the best way to keep your children’s teeth healthy is to lead by example. Let your children watch while you brush and floss your teeth, so they understand that it is part of a daily routine. Make brushing fun and let kids know that they are doing a good job keeping those cavities away!
We’ve got all kinds of handy resources like this one (http://www.sfdsmiles.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Signature-Family-Dentistry-Care-For-Your-Tots-Teeth.pdf) at our office. If you are interested in picking up some learning material, just let us know! (http://www.sfdsmiles.wpengine.com/contact/)