As a general dentistry practice, we treat all members of the family. We strive to educate the Mobile, AL. area in all areas of oral healthcare. The healthcare of your children is important to us. Here are a few answers to frequently asked questions when it comes to children and oral healthcare:
When Should My Child First See a Dentist?
According to the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the recommended quideline is "first visit by first birthday". It is suggested that you establish a dental home for your child by the appearance of their first tooth. This will not only allow for an early examination that could prevent future problems but also will begin the building of a positive relationship between your child and your dentist.
Do Cavities in Baby Teeth Need to be Filled?
Baby teeth need to be cared for just like permanent teeth. Many parents have ignored baby teeth because they view them as temporary and thought not to be of importance. If neglected, baby teeth can get cavities. Cavities in baby teeth spread more quickly because the enamel is thinner. If left untreated, the infection can spread and damage other teeth, damage the gums, and lead to removal of the tooth. Many parents don't understand how important their children's baby teeth are to lifelong oral health. Removing baby teeth prematurely can interfere with a child's speaking and eating. Baby teeth also hold the place for permanent teeth, so their loss can lead to future orthodontic problems.
Can I pass germs that cause cavities to my child?
Early childhood caries is a term for dental decay that can happen in infants. Believe it or not, parents can be the cause of this problem. Bacteria in a parents mouth differs in composition from that of the child and can be passed down to children in several ways: Tasting the child's food for temperature, sharing spoons, cleaning off a pacifier in your mouth instead of with water, and kissing a child on the mouth.
When Should Teeth Cleaning Begin?
Earlier is better with regards to cleaning. Before the first teeth erupt, gums should be cleaned with a soft wet infant toothbrush. When the first teeth erupt, begin brushing twice a day with an ADA approved age specific soft toothbrush. When your child is less than 2 years old, no larger than a grain of rice of toothpaste should be used. You can increase this to a pea sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when your child is 3 years old. Using small amounts of fluoride regularly can prevent tooth decay by reducing loss of minerals from the tooth structure. Dental products containing fluoride should be used according to the recommendations and stored away from the reach of children. Excess fluoride ingestion can cause fluorosis, or discoloration of tooth enamel, of developing teeth.
Remember...Infants and toddlers should never be put to bed with a bottle containing anything but water and parents should transition them from sippy cups to adult cups as soon as possible.