Prevention is the fundamental word in a discussion with your pediatric dentist about good oral health for your child. The goal is to protect the child from the things that can promote tooth decay and gum disease and it involves having regular checkups, monitoring dietary habits and following a strict regimen for home dental care.
Authorities on pediatric dental health advise parents to start a program of regularly scheduled visits with a pediatric dentist by their child’s first birthday. That early exam will give the dentist and hygienist a baseline to refer to as time goes on and changes take place. It can also identify the child’s predisposition for cavities.
Mothers who breastfeed should consider cutting back on round the clock feedings once the baby’s teeth start to come in. The lactose content in breast milk can cause tooth decay especially if it remains in the baby’s mouth for long periods of time, as when they’re sleeping. Bottle fed babies are also at risk. The best scenario in both cases is for the mother to wipe the baby’s mouth with a wet cloth after feedings.
Our natural saliva is Mother Nature’s method for washing away the sugar that can remain in our mouths long after we’ve eaten or had something sweet to drink. The introduction of the “sippy cup” has made her job harder, but parents can help by limiting the use. If your child has trouble breaking the habit offer water instead of milk or juice.
Thumb sucking is considered normal and harmless, up to a certain age. Once the baby teeth begin to be replace by the permanent ones the thrusting motion can cause a misalignment in the child’s natural bite. Your pediatric dentist can suggest ways to discourage the habit before any real damage can be done.
Parents are encouraged to refer to the Patient Education Center page on the website, www.dentist4kidz.net in order to be prepared for the very important first visit with Dr. Lewis of Dentist 4 Kidz in Aurora. Call for that appointment @ 303-367-1502.