Care for your child's teeth
Begin daily brushing as soon as your child's first tooth erupts. Prior to the eruption of the teeth it is very important to wipe the gum pads and the tongue. By constantly doing this you will get your child used to having something done to their mouth and they will assume it is a natural part of life. You can use baby wipes like Spiffies which contain Xylitol to help clean. Babies usually love this and are very compliant. As your child gets older you can start to integrate toothpastes into your daily routine. Brush at least twice daily. You should use no more that a pea sized amount of toothpaste. Until your child is able to rinse and spit you should use a children's toothpaste that does not contain fluoride like Toms of Maine or Baby Oragel. When your child gets a little older you can move into regular toothpastes and even fluoride rinses.
Proper bushing removes plaques from the inner, outer and chewing surfaces. Flossing removes plaque between the teeth where a toothbrush can't reach. Flossing should begin as soon as the teeth touch. Just like adults things can get stuck there and need to be removed. Your children will really need direct supervision until they are at least 8-9 years old.
Good diet = healthy teeth
Good eating habits lead to healthy teeth. Children should eat a well balanced diet from all of the five basic food groups. Anything in moderation is fine. If children need to eat sweet things try to stay away from sticky, gooey foods. Children are better off with chocolate or ice cream that will melt away rather than fruit chews. If they do eat those foods we suggest that you brush right afterwards. Children that graze or eat constantly have a greater acid content in their mouths. Try to keep your children eating those sweet things in conjunction with a meal. The acids will break down differently.
How do I prevent Cavities?
Good oral hygiene removes bacteria that combine with the food to help create decay. For infants, the use of the washcloth and baby wipes will remove the plaque from the teeth and gums. Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle filled with anything other than water.
Older children need to brush at least twice a day and they need to monitor their snacks.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends six month visits to the Pediatric Dentist beginning at your child's first birthday. Regular visits will help to create smiles that can last a lifetime. Its easy.
We as Pediatric dentists may also recommend protective sealants or home fluoride treatments for your child as good preventive measures.
Why visit the dentist twice a year when my child has never had a cavity?
Regular dental visits help your child stay cavity-free. Teeth cleanings remove debris that build up on the teeth, irritate the gums and cause decay. Fluoride treatments renew the fluoride content in the enamel, strengthening teeth and preventing cavities. Hygiene instructions improve your child’s brushing and flossing, leading to cleaner teeth and healthier gums.
Tooth decay isn’t the only reason for regular dental visits. The Pediatric dentist provides an ongoing assessment of changes in your child’s oral health. For example, your child may need additional fluoride, dietary changes, or sealants for ideal dental health. We are constantly monitoring growth and development problems and may suggest early intervention to guide the teeth as they emerge in the mouth.
Will X-Rays be taken at every appointment?
No. Pediatric dentists, acting in good accord the guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommend radiographs only when necessary to protect your child’ dental health. Every child is individual, with individual dental needs. We assess at each appointment the appropriateness for those pictures. We always discuss with you, the parent, when and why we feel they are necessary
Policy on the use of xylitol in caries prevention
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recognizes the benefits of caries preventive strategies involving sugar substitutes, particularly xylitol, on the oral health of infants, children, adolescents, and persons with special health care needs.
Xylitol reduces plaque formation and bacterial adherence, inhibits enamel demineralization, tand reduces acid production.
Xylitol currently is available in many forms such as gums, mints, chewable tablets, lozenges, toothpastes, mouthwashes, cough mixtures and nutraceutical products. Xylitol chewing gum has been shown to be effective as preventive agents.