In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.
- Avoid overnight feeding, such as bringing toddler to bed with you and allowing him/her to nurse at will. Milk can "pool" in the child's mouth and cause acid to form continuously throughout the night. This acid leads to decay.
- When it comes to bedtime soothing, a pacifier or bottle filled with water is safer for developing teeth — that is, until about age 3 followed by proper brushing. At that point, sucking habits should be gently discouraged to prevent orthodontic problems from developing later on.
- Before a tooth is fully erupted, you can use a water-soaked gauze pad to clean around the tooth and gums.
- As soon as the first tooth appears in the oral cavity brushing is to be started with the finger brush which has a small head that can b easily placed on your finger.
- Starting at age 2, you can begin teaching your child to brush with a small headed toothbrush and no more than a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
- But remember, children will need help with this important task until the age of 6, when they have the fine skills to do an effective job themselves.
At this point, your children have the primary responsibility for maintaining their day-to-day dental health. Selection of proper toothpaste and toothbrush is important.
- Bring your child in to see us by age 1. We can demonstrate proper hygiene techniques; look for signs of early decay; and recommend fluoride supplementation if needed.
- Start encouraging healthy dietary habits at this time. Your child will have less plaque buildup and decay if you place limits on soda and sugary snack consumption.
- Twice-yearly dental checkups and cleanings
WHAT WE CAN DO
- We can apply topical fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel and make it more resistant to erosion and decay.
- If necessary, we can also apply dental sealants to the back teeth (molars) to prevent food particles and bacteria from building up in the tiny grooves where a toothbrush can't reach.
- Proper brushing techniques demonstrated over study models and through dental softwares.