April 4, 2022
Are you a first-time parent trying to be as prepared as possible to help your little one grow up? Maybe you already have multiple kids. Either way, you recognize the value of learning about children’s oral health so you can help them try to dodge cavities while developing a beautiful smile. Keep reading to learn key facts about pediatric dental health from a children’s dentist in Hampton.
Their First Tooth Needs to Mean Their First Dental Visit
Most new parents may not know when to take their child in for their first dental checkup. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends taking your child within six months of their first erupted tooth, or near them turning one year old. Your pediatric dentist will check the child’s mouth to ensure their baby teeth are growing in properly, as they are crucial to the development of adult teeth.
Tooth Decay Is the Primary Concern in Children’s Dentistry
Did you know tooth decay is five times more common than childhood asthma? It’s one of the most prevalent chronic conditions among kids, as more than 42 percent of children aged 2-11 will get a cavity. If left untreated, dental decay may cause serious damage to your child’s overall health. Oral infections can enter the bloodstream and lead to additional significant health problems affecting eating, speaking, playing, or learning.
Kids Aren’t Helpless Against Cavities
Even though cavities are one of the most chronic childhood diseases, they can be prevented by:
- Using fluoride toothpaste and drinking fluoridated water. Fluoride varnish can prevent and reverse the early stages of tooth decay.
- Making sure your child follows a proper oral hygiene regimen. They should brush their teeth twice a day and floss daily.
- Limiting your child’s sugar intake. Offer calcium-rich snacks like cheese or plain yogurt instead of sweet treats and drinks.
- Applying dental sealants. They are a great option for children who are prone to cavities because they act as barriers that protect the teeth from decay. Consult with your pediatric dentist to determine if it’s the best choice for your child.
Proper Dental Care Should Start During Infancy
Babies and children under the age of one are at risk of developing oral infections by drinking milk, formula, or fruit juice from their bottles frequently. A child’s mouth should be cleaned after every feeding or snack even before they have teeth to prevent infections.
Before the teeth erupt, use an infant toothbrush or soft washcloth to wipe their gums twice a day to keep them free of bacteria. As soon as your child’s first tooth appears, start brushing with a rice-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste.
A Broken or Knocked-Out Permanent Tooth Can Be Saved
It can be unsettling when a child knocks out an adult tooth, but the good news is it can be saved and reattached if proper measures are taken. You should try to reinsert the tooth into the socket and have your child hold it in place until you reach the dentist. If you’re unable to do that, you can preserve the tooth in a cup of milk or salt water. Regardless, you should schedule an emergency dental visit immediately.
Regular checkups and proper dental care are the best things you can do to keep your child’s oral health in stellar condition. Following these tips can put your little one on the path to a healthy, beautiful smile that will last a lifetime.
About the Author
Dr. Neelima Ravi earned her dental doctorate from Boston University after initially attending dental school in her native India. In 2021, she earned a Fellowship with the Academy of General Dentistry which only six percent of dentists in the U.S. and Canada have achieved. If you are looking for a children’s dentist in Hampton, she will see patients once they turn two years old and make sure you are informed about how to manage their oral care. Schedule an appointment for your little one on her website or by calling (603) 926-1551.
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