Babies get most of the nutrition they need from milk during their first year of life. Even when solid foods are introduced, milk still plays a vital role in the sustenance and overall development of young children. While many families use bottles to feed their babies, some may use them improperly or for too long,…
What Your Pediatric Dentist Wants You to Know About Teething
Pediatric dentists understand that teething can be a rollercoaster for babies and parents. Some babies hardly fuss at all. Other babies struggle with the pain and discomfort of the teething process. Pediatric dentists want you to know that your baby’s dentist is a great support and resource as baby teeth begin to come in. You can partner with your pediatric dentist to start your child on the path to good oral health.
When to see the pediatric dentist
It may surprise many, but dentists recommend that a child have their first appointment when the first tooth appears or by their first birthday, sooner than many parents expect. This is to ensure that the teeth are healthy and free from decay. Even babies can experience tooth decay or other dental problems. A pediatric dentist can do a quick examination of the baby to identify any tooth decay or gum disease. Both of these conditions are completely preventable in healthy children.
When something unusual happens, parents should check in with the pediatric dentist. Some babies do not have difficulty while teething. Other babies may cry, pull at their ears, or drool. Pediatric dentists want parents to bring the child in if they notice anything out of the ordinary. While problems early on are rare, the sooner a pediatric dentist sees a child with a dental issue, the better. This allows dentists to form a plan of care with parents before the problem gets worse.
Oral care starts with the first tooth
Pediatric dentists understand that the idea of brushing tiny teeth in a baby’s mouth can seem daunting to parents. When parents bring a child in, the dentist can demonstrate ways that parents can clean the baby’s teeth. This may involve wiping the new little teeth with clean gauze. Some tooth scrubbers fit over the parent’s finger. The parent will then use it to massage the baby’s gums and teeth.
As more baby teeth erupt and the baby becomes a toddler, parents can move to a toothbrush. There are several styles of toothbrushes that make brushing a toddler’s teeth a bit easier. The pediatric dentist will want to continue to see the child at certain milestones to evaluate how the baby’s teeth are erupting. These are great opportunities for parents to ask questions and for pediatric dentists to address any concerns.
Healthy habits start early
By beginning oral care at the appearance of the first tooth, you can lay the foundation for good lifelong oral health for your child. Regular visits to the pediatric dentist will help your child have less fear and anxiety in the dentist’s chair. These visits also help to address and prevent tooth decay. You can get good advice from the dentist about how to care for your child’s teeth at home. When you work with a pediatric dentist to establish oral care habits, your child learns how to care for the teeth better for life.
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