Dental Care for Infants and Children
Dental care for infants and children is necessary from an early age. Even though they will lose their teeth, it is important to take good care of them to protect the adult teeth underneath.
When Should Dental Care Begin?
We recommend parents bring children in by their first birthday. At this point, checkups twice a year are needed. Some children may need more frequent care if problems arise.
Birth to Six Months of Age:
Proper dental care begins at birth. Parents should wipe out a baby’s mouth after every feeding and before bed to protect the developing teeth. Avoid giving bottles in bed. Fluoride supplements may also be needed.
Six to 12 Months of Age:
As soon as the first tooth breaks through, it is important to consult us. Regular brushing after meals and before bed is necessary. Watch for facial injuries as the child becomes mobile and wean from the bottle by one year.
12 to 24 Months of Age:
Make sure you schedule dental checkups every six months or more often if needed. At this age, it is important to begin using fluoride toothpaste if you can train your child to spit when brushing.
Facts about Deciduous Teeth:
Many people misunderstand deciduous teeth, otherwise known as baby teeth. Protecting baby teeth ensures adult teeth can grow in properly. Infected baby teeth can also negatively impact adult teeth. Children may begin losing their baby teeth around the age of four.
Thumb-Sucking and Dental Health:
Many young children turn to thumb-sucking for comfort. However, we recommend parents do what they can to break this habit before age five, if not earlier. Thumb-sucking for too long can lead to crooked and overcrowded teeth.
Diet and Dental Care for Children:
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry encourages a healthy diet for good oral health. Our dentists can help you evaluate your child's diet and make recommendations for any changes. Avoiding sugary and starchy snacks is a great start. Eating a balanced, healthy diet with foods from all food groups will encourage both good dental and overall health.