Many parents are surprised to learn that the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry) recommends that you schedule your child’s first oral hygiene appointment when they reach their 1st birthday. Why so soon? Practical prevention. The best way to treat decay is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Dental problems can occur early from baby bottle decay or nursing. Gum disease statistics are staggering. Approximately half of all children between the ages of 2 and 3 have at least mild gum tissue inflammation. By practicing these infant oral care tips, you help prevent many common problems. Healthy teeth and gums allow your child to learn to speak more clearly, to chew their food properly, and to share their smiles with confidence.
The AAPD encourages parents to find a dental home for their child by the age of 12 months. Securing a dental home for your child will help you ensure that your child is on the road to good oral care throughout their lives.
Free infant dental exams are offered at Li’l Sunshine Smiles because we know a healthy start is your best start! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends children be seen for an exam as early as 1 year of age or within 6 months of the eruption of the first baby tooth. During this appointment, our team will provide you with the best prevention strategies, education, and success tips for supporting your child to a healthy smile!
Your child’s infant dental exam gives Dr. Botero an opportunity to document parent and infant health histories, perform a thorough oral examination, offer an age-appropriate tooth and gum cleaning (and education for home care), and a fluoride varnish treatment if needed.
Part of preventing early childhood tooth decay is assessing your child’s risk, developing a prevention plan, and educating yourself on how to fortify his smile. This includes making sure you have fluoridated water and if not arranging for proper supplements, addressing the best diet for keeping enamel strong, discussing genetic threats to oral health and medications that could affect teeth development.
Oral emergencies from orofacial trauma are common with young children. Young children are still developing their coordination and processing skills and fall frequently. Learn what to do in an oral emergency so you can stay levelheaded.
Also consider objects that could be dangerous to your child, pacifier use, making sure car seats are installed and used properly, and keeping children safe from the dangers of electric cords and unprotected sockets.
Tooth eruption patterns vary from child to child, but most follow a predictable pattern. Teething can be uncomfortable for children leading to irritability, excessive salivation, and poor sleep. To treat symptoms, consider oral analgesics or chilled teething rings. Topical anesthetics and gels can help soothe infants but should be used properly and according to package instructions. Discuss with Dr. Botero any product you are considering using for your child before use.
Preventing cavities is so much easier than treating cavities. Working together, we can protect your child’s mouth from birth to adulthood! Inviting your child into our dental home early on allows them to be more comfortable in future dental visits. Establishing positive connections between dental treatment and Dr. Cat is essential for success with oral health now and in years to come.
Children that have infant dental exams and frequent visits biannually after, have a reduced risk of developing dental phobias. Let’s work together to keep them healthy and happy! Call us at 813-576-0200 today to schedule an infant dental exam today!