Kids Dental Health Zone

Call ☎ Edwards Family Dental Phone Number 614-761-7666 with questions about your child’s oral health.

Baby Oral Care Basics Dublin, OH

Caution: Cavities may be contagious.

Decay is caused by bacteria called streptococcus mutans, which feed on sugar and produce acid that attacks teeth. Babies aren’t born with these bacteria in their mouth; they “catch” them from their mother’s saliva. “Moms who have a history of dental problems have a large amount of these infectious bacteria,” says Beverly Largent, D.M.D.. “Every time you share a spoon with your infant or clean a pacifier by sticking it in your mouth, you may be passing along cavity-causing germs.”

While all children will eventually have some of these bacteria, it is always best to take precautions. Do not share cups or utensils with your baby or let them stick their fingers in your mouth, and always try to get any form of tooth decay taken care of as soon a possible

Start with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste.

While your infant is toothless, you may wipe his/her gums with a wet washcloth after each feeding. Once the first tooth erupts, use a brush with a tiny smear of kids’ fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Dentists used to recommend nonfluoridated toothpaste until age 2; however, since fluoridated toothpaste can lower a child’s risk of decay by up to 30 percent, the AAPD now recommends it.

Limit bottles and sippy cups.

If your child carries around a sippy cup all day or sleeps with a bottle at night, the sugars in milk, formula, or juice may pool around children’s teeth allowing cavity-causing bacteria to flourish. Experts believe that sippy cups may be partly to blame for the recent rise of decay among toddlers. Even if you start your child with a sippy cup, introduce your baby to a cup around 6 months and limit juice to mealtimes only. Water is always a great option to quench thirst between meals.

baby holding a toothbrush

Call ☎ Edwards Family Dental Phone Number 614-761-7666 to make an appointment.

Toddler Tooth Facts

Get into a good brushing and flossing routine.

Your little one may fuss, but do not take no for an answer; brush his/her teeth twice a day with a dab of toothpaste. After age 2, use a little more paste and teach your child how to rinse and spit. Even if your child wants to brush on their own, make sure you take a turn too. Once your child reaches age 2 1/2, all baby teeth (including molars) should be erupt. Once two teeth touch, floss them daily.

See us ASAP if your child knocks out a tooth.

Although it’s tempting to consider baby teeth to be expendable (they fall out eventually right?) premature visits from the Tooth Fairy can be problematic for many reasons. If a permanent tooth isn’t ready to take the spot, adjacent baby teeth may shift or tilt to fill the space. The permanent tooth will not have room and will come in crooked later on. We can hold the spot with a space maintainer. The space maintainer will save the spot until the permanent tooth is ready to come in. Also call for an appointment if your child chips a tooth or one turns gray some time after a fall.

Ask about our fluoride varnish.

We recommend a fluoride varnish at every 6 month cleaning appointment. Your hygienist will paint your child’s teeth with a concentrated fluoride varnish that strengthens weak spots. Teeth are more susceptible to decay during the first few years after eruption in the mouth. Primary teeth (“baby teeth”) are much more susceptible to decay, because their protective outer enamel layer is thinner and more easily penetrated by the acid. Children are getting teeth until age 13, so they really have a higher vulnerability to decay until they’re around 15. Studies show that children who get this fluoride treatment are four times less likely to have cavities than children who do not.

Call ☎ Edwards Family Dental Phone Number 614-761-7666 to make an appointment.

Watch out for cavity causing foods.

Cavities in baby teeth can be painful, and if left untreated they can lead to a seriously infected abscess. Sticky treats like center-filled lollipops and gummy candies are not the only culprits. Starchy foods like bread, chips, and crackers also cling into the grooves of teeth. Drinking water after may help, but these foods can get lodged into the crevices between your teeth. Raw carrots, apple slices, and yogurt are all great snacks that can reduce sugar in your child’s mouth. Cheeses such as cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, Gouda, and Monterey Jack help reduce decay by stimulating saliva and are also great for between meal snacks.

child brushing their teeth

Protecting Permanent Teeth

Help your child brush until at least age 7 and floss until 10.

Brushing should take about two minutes, but how thoroughly your child is brushing is most important. You can show your child how to make short, gentle strokes on the inner and outer chewing surfaces of the teeth. Finish with a fluoride rinse, and use either disclosing tablets or mouthwash occasionally to show any areas that may have been missed. And, don’t forget to floss! Try individual flossers-they’re easier for kids to maneuver.

Have your second-grader in for an orthodontic check.

Thanks to new technology, kids can now be treated earlier, which is why the AAO recommends an orthodontic check at age 7. Many bite and spacing issues are easier to treat before all of the permanent teeth are in and the jaw has stopped growing. We may use a palatal expander to widen a child’s jaw or pull baby teeth to make room for permanent teeth. Early treatment can prevent problems and shorten the time that braces will be needed later.

Get dental sealants.

They can lower your child’s risk for cavities by 90 percent! We will apply a thin coating to the back molars that seeps into hard-to-clean grooves; it hardens to form a plastic barrier that seals out food and harmful bacteria. We normally recommend sealants when most children receive their 6-year molars and again when the 12-year molars appear.

source: Parents Magazine Jan. 2010

Call ☎ Edwards Family Dental Phone Number 614-761-7666 to make an appointment to have your child’s oral health examined.