Dental Advice for Moms & Kids
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
PREVENTION & GOOD HABITS
- Good oral health starts in the womb! A mother’s oral health and nutrition are linked to her child in many ways. Pregnancy gingivitis, preterm labor, and low birth-weight are risks of poor oral health while pregnant. Prenatal vitamins with Fluoride are important as baby teeth begin developing around 14 weeks in utero! During pregnancy is the best time to learn about good oral care for your newborn.
Infant Feeding Recommendations
- Breast Milk is best! Ready-to-drink Formula is better than Powder-mix (RTD is easier to regulate fluoride levels because it doesn’t depend on the type of water used to reconstitute to get final fluoride levels)
- A Multi-vitamin containing fluoride is best! Ask your pediatrician about multi-vitamins
Good Dietary Habits
- Cavities develop when the bacteria left on teeth are supplied with sugar for prolonged periods of time.
- Limit sugar intake FREQUENCY by avoiding prolonged snacking and eating, and sticky candy.
- Avoid “at-will” feeding as it promotes a steady dose of food sugars on the baby teeth
- Substitute fresh fruits, vegetable, & nuts for candy. Encourage sugar-free foods & drinks.
Oral Hygiene & Fluoride
- Good oral care starts at birth! Gently wipe gums after feedings to clean bacterial films and to get them used to it.
- Use a small, soft toothbrush as soon as teeth erupt & make 2 daily brushings a fun habit!
- Use FLUORIDE toothpaste as soon as your child can rinse and spit (harmful is swallowed)
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control consider “Community Water Fluoridation” to be one of the “10 Greatest Public Health achievements of the 20th century”. Fluoride is one of the most important means of preventing tooth decay, but we DO NOT have it in the Monroe area. We customize a child’s Fluoride needs using in-office rinse or varnish, fluoride vitamins, and sometimes prescription rinses or toothpaste.
- Floss baby teeth as soon as they get close to touching the ones beside them.
- Xylitol products are a good adjunct to reduce risk of cavities
BABY TEETH ARE IMPORTANT!
- Primary teeth first erupt around 6mo, and continue up to age 3. Many of these teeth will be kept until age 11-12.
- Permanent teeth begin appearing around age 6 and continue to do so up to around age 12.
- Healthy Primary Teeth are vital to proper growth & development of the permanent teeth & jaws. Decayed baby teeth can cause pain, can cause cavities & malformation in the developing permanent teeth, and premature loss of baby teeth can cause crowding, impaction, and/or misplaced eruption of the permanent teeth.
FIRST VISIT WITH DR. EDDLEMAN
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the 1st Dental visit at age 1, but Dr. Eddleman advises:
- NEW MOTHER CONSULTATION by age 6-8 mo – for prevention and education
- FIRST SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT by age 2 – we hope to accomplish an exam, cleaning, x-rays, and fluoride treatment, but we are very satisfied with whatever positive introduction we give a child so that they have a good experience! From here, we want each future visit to build upon the next so they are learning how to care for their teeth and building self-confidence. When treatment is required, we do not sedate or restrain our kids. We do not tell them to close their eyes, nor do we “hide the needle”. Our kids are so proud of themselves and look forward to coming back! We’ve found great success with our positive, esteem-building approach fostering good communication with patients and parents. The earlier we see a child, the more we help reduce the risk of cavities!
- PREPARATION – Coach your child to expect a good time! Kids sense your fear, so avoid saying cautious things like “It’s gonna be OK” (they’re thinking: “What’s gonna be OK? Where are you taking me that something may not be OK???”) So have confidence and treat it like a visit to grandma’s house!!! Try to schedule visits during their best time of day (as opposed to a regular nap or feeding time where they may be fussy)