Many parents don’t realize that their child’s first dental visit should occur at around twelve months. During that first appointment, your pediatric dentist will perform a dental exam to make sure your child’s oral health is progressing correctly. This is a great educational opportunity as well for parents to learn what can be done to prevent childhood tooth decay.
Cavities occur most often in children as their teeth are in the developmental stage. But there are steps you and your pediatric dentist can take to provide added protection for primary and permanent teeth.
Fluoride treatments provide added strength for dental enamel. Although there is fluoride in the foods and water consumed, a topically applied fluoride treatment may be recommended.
Dental sealants are available for teeth not already impacted with decay. The sealant is applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth filling in the natural pits on teeth where cavities often begin.
Regular dental appointments will remove plaque that has formed on teeth since the previous visit. Plaque buildup promotes dental decay.
What you allow your child to eat and drink is important for overall development as well as healthy teeth.
Food – The basics include fruit, vegetables, dairy, protein, and healthy grains. Sugary treats should be limited to special occasions and not allowed to be a daily staple.
Beverages – As a baby or toddler, a baby bottle at bedtime (nap or nighttime) should never contain anything but water. If your child is allowed to fall asleep with formula, milk, or juice that could linger on their teeth for hours and hours, you could be promoting cavity formation. Throughout the day, a sippy cup should be for water only. Milk and juice with meals is okay.
Teeth Cleaning – As soon as your child’s teeth begin to erupt, you need to start to clean them. Initially you can wipe them with a soft cloth. As your child learns to sit up, an age appropriate toothbrush and toothpaste can be introduced.
As your child ages, allow them to watch you brush and floss. You need to supervise once they start brushing on their own to make sure they are cleaning their teeth thoroughly.
Your efforts coupled with regular visits with our pediatric dentist will help keep your child’s teeth clean and hopefully decay free. Contact our team at The Smiley Tooth Pediatric Dental Specialists today to schedule an appointment.