Dental Care For Infants
As soon as your little one arrives, dental hygiene begins. From your baby’s first days, clean the gums with a wet washcloth after each feeding to keep the mouth free of breastmilk or formula residue.
Babies should not be put to sleep with a bottle. Doing so can lead to decay/cavities, which are often medically referred to as nursing caries, bottle caries, and rampant caries. If you must put your child down with a bottle, please try using only water.
Once the first tooth erupts, your New York pediatric dentist will suggest a soft-bristle toothbrush and non-fluoride toothpaste. Remember that fluoride toothpaste should not be swallowed, so use non-fluoride toothpaste until your child is able to spit out the toothpaste after each brushing. At our practice, we take great care in providing your baby not only with a thorough examination but with a positive experience as well.
While it is true that baby teeth will eventually fall out to make way for the adult tooth, baby teeth are very important. Cavities and infection of the baby teeth can affect the developing permanent teeth. Baby teeth also serve as placeholders for the adult teeth and the loss of a baby tooth before the proper time can result in the shifting of the other baby teeth, making it difficult for the adult teeth to properly erupt. Baby teeth also allow your child to chew and speak clearly.
As toddlers, children learn from example. Brushing and flossing your teeth as well as teaching them to care more about their own oral habits can help them for a lifetime. If you are unsure how to care for your child’s teeth or your own, give us a call or ask any questions you have during your next visit.
Thumb sucking and the use of a pacifier are both common in infants. Pacifiers should generally not be used past the age of two. Any longer and your child may develop problems. Thumb sucking is a big cause for concern in toddlers and should be addressed. If your child consistently or aggressively sucks his thumb, it may be necessary to actively wean him or her off the habit. Dr. Diba is experienced with guiding concerned parents and their children through this process.
Once your child’s adult teeth begin to come in, we often recommend the use of dental sealants. These sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars to help prevent decay and cavities. Regular brushing and flossing should become part of the everyday routine.
By the age of seven, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that each child receive what is referred to as an orthodontic screening. The purpose of the screening is to identify any causes for concern and address them before your child grows any older and the problem more severe.
During the teenage years, cavities become increasingly likely largely due to a change in diet. Teenagers will typically consume more sugary and starchy foods than infants and young children. These foods contain acids that lead to plaque buildup and tooth decay. Pre-teens and teenagers are also far more likely to require orthodontic treatments such as braces or Invisalign. During this time in your child’s life, you can begin to see whether they have developed good oral hygiene habits or not, and any problems can be addressed before they become severe.
If your child plays any sports, talk with us about a custom mouthguard. These devices can go a long way toward preventing dental and facial injury.
As your child becomes a young adult, you should see the results of good early oral hygiene habits. Your hardwork and diligence will prove to be worth it!
The young adult years see the eruption of the wisdom tooth, usually between the ages of 16 and 20. Oftentimes, the mouth simply does not have the room to house these teeth, leading them to become impacted, or partially erupted. If this occurs, the wisdom teeth are often extracted.
Adults are also more likely to develop gum disease which is the leading cause of tooth loss. Signs of gum disease include red and easily bleeding gums, pockets between the gums, and loose teeth. Any of these symptoms merits a visit to our office right away.