How’s Your Baby’s Dental Health?
February 16, 2016 at 2:16 am
In February, we celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month by raising awareness in our community about pediatric dental health and related issues.
If our children’s baby teeth fall out, why is pediatric dental care so important?
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 42% of children age 2 to 11 have dental caries in their baby teeth. Dental caries is the scientific term for tooth decay or cavities, and according to the Centers for Disease Control, dental caries is the most common chronic disease of children ages 6 to 11 years and adolescents ages 12 to 19 years.
So… how can we change this? With proper pediatric dental care of course!
It all begins at home…
- Before your baby begins teething, wipe a clean, damp cloth over the gums after feeding to help remove harmful bacteria.
- Avoid baby bottle tooth decay. Do NOT put your baby to bed with a bottle of formula or juice – they both contain sugar. You don’t want them sleeping with that sugar still on their teeth and gums.
- Once you see that first tooth come in, start brushing! It’s important not to use any old toothbrush and a tube of Crest though. Using an infant toothbrush and just plain water, or a pea sized amount of infant toothpaste, brush your baby’s teeth and gums twice a day. Always use a soft bristled brush and don’t introduce floride toothpaste until the age of 3, or when you are sure they won’t swallow it.
- When your baby’s teeth begin to touch, you can start flossing between them – that is if they’ll let you!
- Continue supervising your child while brushing until the age of 6 – or when you can trust them not to swallow the toothpaste.
How are unhealthy teeth & gums related to your overall health?
According to WebMD, there is a connection between poor oral care and health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lung conditions, and obesity. You have to see it to believe it!
When should I bring my baby to the dentist?
The earlier the better! The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children have a dental home by the age of 1. At True Health, we offer a full range of pediatric dental care at our Alafaya and Lake Underhill locations as well as the Cheney and Evans Wellness Cottages. We provide cleanings and other preventative care services as well as restorative care like fillings, extractions, and overbite correction due to thumb or finger sucking.
Take care of your teeth and gums – your body will thank you for it!