Brought to you by Seaside Children’s Dentistry
Your bundle of joy arrives, and next thing you know so has their first tooth! Before you begin thinking about how much to pay the tooth fairy, here are a few common questions parents may have from the beginning (and helpful answers!) from the team at Seaside Children’s Dentistry.
Your child’s dental health is important to their overall growth and development. Dental decay is the most common chronic disease of childhood. The American Dental Association, The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a child’s first dental visit be six months after the first tooth erupts, which is usually between one and two years old for most children.
Most infants experience some symptoms with teething, including: drooling, mouthing objects, irritability, change in sleep habits, and pain and gum tenderness. Many children find relief from something cool or firm to chew on, like a teething ring. Tylenol, Motrin, or rubbing on the gums with a clean finger can provide relief. If the symptoms persist or worsen, contact your child’s dentist.
- Infants should be weaned from the bottle and transition to the cup when they are 12-14 months. Putting children to bed with a bottle puts them at a higher risk for dental decay and ear infections.
- Breast fed babies should not be fed “at will” after the first tooth erupts (based on information obtained from policy guidelines of The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.)
- Use caution with Sippy cups. Many infants and toddlers who drink out of the cup or bottle between meals with sugary beverages (Kool-Aid, soda, chocolate milk, fruit juices, punches, and sweet tea) are at a higher risk to develop tooth decay.
- Encourage healthy, age appropriate snacks (whole grain, fruits, cheese, and vegetables). Avoid cookies, candy, soda, cereals with sugar, foods that are high in carbohydrates and starch with no nutritional value. Read your labels. Many prepackaged foods are very high in sugar and low nutrition carbohydrates. Keep juice at a minimum.
Fluoride plays an important role in cavity prevention. Your child may receive fluoride in many forms; toothpaste, food and water, fluoride supplements, and fluoride treatments at the dental office. A small pea-sized amount of toothpaste is recommended for children 2 ½ years and older. Careful supervision during brushing is important. Your dentist can help you determine if your child is receiving an adequate amount of fluoride.
Children who benefit the most from fluoride are those at highest risk for dental decay. Risk factors include a previous history of dental decay, high sugar and carbohydrate diet, dry mouth, and orthodontic appliances.
Toddlers are susceptible to falls and injuries. Prevention strategies include: buffer hard edges and corners, use nonskid mats in the tub, and remove or hide cords that can electrocute or strangle a child. Put ice or a cold compress on an oral injury. See your dentist if a tooth has been fractured, knocked out, displaced in the socket, or loose after an injury. Go to the emergency room if your child has had a severe blow to the head or a jaw fracture.
FIRST DENTIST VISITS & CHECKUPS
Your dentist will schedule your child for regular checkups at their new dental home. These are important to evaluate tooth and facial development. Proper oral hygiene, fluoride recommendations, preventive strategies, and to give you age appropriate recommendations concerning your child’s oral development. Your pediatric dentist is uniquely trained to develop a combination of office and home preventive care to ensure your child a happy smile.
What should you expect? The dentist may have to examine the very young child off the parent’s lap. However, it is critical to start early in young children to prevent future problems from occurring and maintain optimal dental health. At the examination, the dentist will check for cavities, demonstrate and evaluate oral hygiene, check dental development and oral soft tissue. Most children should usually be reexamined at six-month intervals. We want to educate parents and patients to maintain healthy smiles for a lifetime.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has many excellent policies and guidelines on infants, children, and adolescents oral health. This can be accessed online at www.aapd.org.
About Seaside Children’s Dentistry
It’s time to come aboard for a beautiful and healthy smile at Seaside Children’s Dentistry. Dr. Matt McLellan and Dr. Maria Fraser are pediatric dentists specializing in the treatment and care of kids. They have attended an additional two years of training to treat very young patients, adolescents and children with special needs. At Seaside, we have the latest in dental technology including Intra-oral cameras, digital X-rays and sedation options. Our team members are warm and friendly, making the dental experience fun and fearless. positive experience. Our office is designed specifically for kids with TV’s, games and playful pirate scenery.
For more information on dental services, visit www.seasidechildrensdentistry.net. For more information on Dr. Matt McLellan and Dr. Maria Frasier click here.