Infant Dental Care
Your BABY’S First Dental Visit
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your child should visit the dentist soon after his/her 1st birthday to establish a DENTAL HOME. Specific to our recommendation, based on our experience in the Metro-West area, we are currently recommending seeing your child between 18 and 24 months, sooner if there is a family history of dental problems or you suspect a developing problem. If you are not sure then check with your pediatrician or call our office.
We will TALK to you about:
- all the CURRENT thinking and opinions on infant
- Pacifiers, thumbs and other habitsthat can cause dental problems
- Caries Risk Assessment
- Toothbrushing and Fluorides
- Bottles and Sippy Cups
- Jaw growth and development and hereditary factors
We will EXAMINE:
- tooth eruption pattern
- lips, checks, palate and gingival (gums)
- check for decalcifications and cavities
- evaluate jaw growth and the orthodontic outlook
We will RECOMMEND the proper preventive and follow-up schedule.
We will ANSWER all your Questions.
Please click here to print "Infant Oral Health Assessment Form"
Please complete the form and bring it to the office for your appointment.
When Will My Baby Start Getting Teeth?
Your child’s primary teeth started to form prior to birth. Teething, the process of baby (primary) teeth coming through the gums into the mouth, is variable among individual babies. Some babies get their teeth early and some get them late….Do not get anxious if they come in later than the books and parenting magazines say… it does not indicate that anything is necessarily wrong.
In general the first baby teeth are usually the lower front (anterior) teeth and usually begin erupting between the age of 6-8 months. See "Eruption of Your Child’s Teeth" for more details.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (Early Childhood Caries)
One serious form of decay among young children is baby bottle tooth decay. This condition is caused by frequent and long exposures of an infant’s teeth to liquids that contain sugar. Among these liquids are milk (including breast milk), formula, fruit juice and other sweetened drinks.
Putting a baby to bed for a nap or at night with a bottle other than water can cause serious and rapid tooth decay. Sweet liquid pools around the child’s teeth giving plaque bacteria an opportunity to produce acids that attack tooth enamel. If you must give the baby a bottle as a comforter at bedtime, it should contain only water. If your child won't fall asleep without the bottle and its usual beverage, gradually dilute the bottle's contents with water over a period of two to three weeks. Remember that diluted juices and milk are just as bad so get to the water as quick as you can.
After each feeding, wipe the baby’s gums and teeth with a damp washcloth or gauze pad to remove plaque. The easiest way to do this is to sit down, place the child’s head in your lap or lay the child on a dressing table or the floor. Whatever position you use, be sure you can see into the child’s mouth easily.
SIPPY CUP TIPS To reduce the risk of cavities
- It should not be used for a long period of time…it is only designed to help your child transition from a bottle to a cup…it is not a pacifier
- Unless being used at mealtime, the sippy cup should only be filled with water
- Sippy cups should not be used at naptime or bedtime unless they only have water in them. Always remember to clean your child’s teeth before placing him or her in bed
The potential of XYLITOL in cavity prevention
It is very exciting to discover that a sugar derived from forest and agricultural materials can and does reduce dental caries. Xylitol is a sugar substitute. The most exciting findings of all the studies is that the use of XYLITOL GUM by mothers (2-3 times per day) starting around the time of delivery, reduced cavities up to 70% by the time the child was 5 years old. Remember, it must be 100% xylitol gum or mints... beware of marketing of other products!!
Answers to the most common Questions we get :
How many months must the mother chew the gum (or mints) for real benefits to occur?
- Surely, the longer you can use the gum (mints) the greater the benefit, but a year or two might be a bit much for any mom to comply with: 4-6 months around the time of birth might be a good way to start.
Where do I get the gum or mints?
- EPIC DENTAL www.epicdental.com (866-920-4200)
- Or try a local health food store
Where can I get more information?
- Ask Us (Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics of Sudbury 978-443-5431)