KIDS "R" US AND BABIES "R" US TOO
Many parents bring their children in for their first dental visit long after all their baby teeth have erupted, when in fact, dental care should start even before the first tooth has erupted, at the infant stage. It is recommended that the first appointment to the dentist should be from one to six months after the first tooth has erupted. This is not to worry parents that are wondering how their child will "open wide' or sit patiently. It is a quick and friendly encounter to ensure things are developing healthy and normally, and to educate moms and dads about dental care.
The average age for the baby's first tooth to appear is approximately six months. Parents should be wiping the gums with a clean, damp cloth before teeth erupt, as well as the first tooth after it erupts until a toothbrush can confindently be used. This is essential because tooth decay, or the destruction of tooth enamel by acid producing bacteria, can begin with only one tooth.
There are many other thing to to prevent tooth decay at the early stages:
1. Do not put the baby to bed with a bottle containing any milk (including breast milk), juice or anything containing sugar.
2. No sharing utensils, cups, tooth brushes, etc. because decay-causing bacteria is communicable.
3. Once the child is on solid foods, avoid excess snacks high in carbohydrates and keep in mind that the bacteria produce harmful
acids 20 minutes after the food is eaten. Healthy choices include fruits, vegetables and cheese.
4. Check your child"s teeth and gums monthly.
5. After the first visit, regular six month checkups are recommended.
6. Fluoride from tap water, toothpaste, suppliments and mouth rinses will help strengthen enamel.
It is never too early to start dental care for you child and to avoid oral health problems, such as tooth decay, that may lead to extensive and excessive procedures.
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