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A first dental visit for your child may cause you anxiety, but your child does not know what to expect, and will generally follow your lead. Starting a child off with enjoyable,

Pediatric Dentistry Marielaina Perrone DDS

Pediatric Dentistry Can Be Fun!

comfortable dental visits can make it easier for both of you, and lead to a lifetime of worry free, healthy dental care. So what can be done to make the dental visits and treatment go as smooth as possible?

Tips For A Fun Dental Visit

-Start With Good Oral Hygiene, and a Healthy Diet at Home. Good nutrition, and proper brushing should help keep your child cavity free. Dental visits are much easier to cope with, and feel at ease with, when there is little work to be done. Stay away from , soda, sticky sweets, and fruit gummies. Drink lots of milk and water, keep juice to a bare minimum. Teach and help with brushing and flossing everyday. Your child’s first dental visit should hopefully not be due to dental decay causing a toothache.

-Choose The Right Dentist – Not all dentists are comfortable treating children. In my opinion, a family dentist is the perfect choice for the ease of scheduling and the fact that the dentist you choose can treat your child into adulthood. Plus, children feel like grown ups to go to the same dentist as their parents and older siblings.

-Have Older Siblings Act as Role Models. A younger child usually will try harder to do something that they see big brother or sister do. If there are no siblings, have your child sit in the office with you, and at the end, have them sit in your lap for a quick peek, and a ride in the chair.

-Start Young – The earlier a child visits the dentist, the better. This will make a child very familiar with the surroundings of the dental office. It is best that the first visit starts at age 1 or when the first tooth is visible. The initial visit generally is an introduction visit with oral hygiene education for parents.

 -Be Honest – Never try to fool or trick a child into doing something. Kids generally have a good sense of their surroundings and will react badly if they are tricked. Kids are quite strong and should be told what is going on so they can prepare themselves for it.

-Stay Positive – Most children’s dental fears arise from hearing their parents talk about their bad experiences of the dentist. Keep positive communication regarding dental care and dental treatment and visits with your children will go much smoother for all involved.

Pediatric Dentistry Marielaina Perrone DDS-Watch Your Words – Never use the words “shot” or “pain” words with children. Always use positive phrases to keep them happy. Negative words will transfer worry to the child.

-Communicate – Constant communication is needed to make this a great experience. If you encourage your child, and explain that they are going to have pictures taken of their teeth, their teeth polished and shined, etc. They will look forward to their appointment, and want to ask questions. A good dentist will also reinforce what you said and place your child at ease, answering questions, and explaining all that they do throughout the dental visit.

-Reward Good Behavior – Promise a reward for good behavior following dental treatment. Kids will associate the dentist with the prize and look past the actual visit toward what they may receive afterward, even if it is just a shiny, new toothbrush from the dentist. A second reward by you after the visit such as going to the park or a favorite place for lunch.

-Schedule Appointment Early In The Day – Arrange a dental visit as early as possible in the morning. This allows the visit to be done early in the day while the child is not tired and before the kids get wound up from the day. Kids deal with new things better when they are not exhausted.

Pediatric Dentistry Conclusion

Dental visits can be fun experiences. Most children who start young and problem free, can build a trust and confidence in themselves and their dentist. Children who learn good oral hygiene at a young age will thank their parents later in life when they experience less tooth related issues and stay healthier longer.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (formerly nursing caries) - is a dental condition that occurs in children between 12 months and 3 years of age as a result of being given a

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Marielaina Perrone DDS

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Can Be Prevented

bottle at bedtime, or at will breast feeding, resulting in prolonged exposure of the teeth to milk or juice. Caries are formed because pools of milk or juice in the mouth break down to lactic acid and other decay-causing substances. Baby Bottle Tooth Decay preventive measures include elimination of the bedtime feeding or substitution of water for milk or juice in the nighttime bottle, scheduled nursing, wiping out the mouth with a wash cloth, and following feedings with water.

We all want what is best for our children and that includes making them happy. Parents hate to see their baby cry for any reason especially at bedtime. But did you know feeding a child at bedtime or even through the night can create dental havoc for them?

Even though baby teeth are temporary in nature, your children’s baby teeth are important for many years, and are still susceptible to tooth decay. Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is often referred to as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay, or Early Childhood Caries. Children need strong, healthy teeth to chew their food, speak and for a cosmetically pleasing smile. Their first teeth also help make sure their adult teeth come in correctly. It’s important to start infants off with good oral care to help protect their future teeth for decades to come.

What Happens In Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay usually affects the upper front teeth, but other teeth can also be affected. There are a variety of reasons which can cause baby bottle tooth decay. One common cause is the frequent, continuous exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks that contain sugar. Milk contains natural sugar, called lactose, but even though it is natural it is still sugar, so staying in the mouth without cleanup will form acid which leads to decay . Baby bottle tooth decay can occur when the baby is put to bed with a bottle, or when a bottle is used as a pacifier for a fussy baby. While milk contains some natural sugar, juice is primarily sugar. A baby requires milk, while juice is completely unnecessary. Most sugary drinks that parents give their children, are things that they think will taste good, but not what a baby needs. Milk and water to drink and fruit to eat, is the best way to incorporate the healthy attributes of nutrition without making our children prone to sugar causing tooth decay.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Marielaina Perrone DDS

Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a disease that can begin with cavity-causing bacteria being passed from the mother (or primary caregiver) to the infant. These bacteria are passed through the saliva. When the mother puts the baby’s feeding spoon in her mouth, or cleans a pacifier in her mouth, the bacteria can be passed to the baby. However, this only puts a child at higher risk, proper hygiene and nutrition will negate those effects. The earlier you start with sugar, the more addicted to sweets your child will be. They can not make the right choices yet, you have to do it for them.

If your infant or toddler does not receive an adequate amount of fluoride in their water, they may also have an increased risk for tooth decay in their developing teeth. The good news is that tooth decay is preventable with proper oral hygiene practices.

Tips to Avoid Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

-Do not share feeding spoons with baby or lick their pacifier. After each feeding for your infant, exercise good oral hygiene by wiping your child’s gums with a clean, damp gauze pad or even a washcloth, or give them some water to drink..

-Schedule visit to dentist by age 1. This can be a purely educational visit as you learn what needs to be done to protect their teeth as they come in, and make it fun.

-When your child’s teeth come in, brush them gently with a child-size toothbrush and water or a childrens’ toothpaste without fluoride. Talk to your child’s dentist or physician if you are considering using fluoride toothpaste before age 2. Generally, fluoride is not recommended until a child will swish and spit, and not swallow the toothpaste.

-Brush the teeth with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste from the ages of 2 to 6. Most kids are not able to properly brush on their own. Parents need to brush for them, and then let them try at the end. Young children will try, but do not do a thorough job.

-Supervise brushing until your child can be counted on to spit and not swallow toothpaste. By about age 7 ,most kids are able to brush properly on their own.Pediatric Dentistry Marielaina Perrone DDS

-Place only formula, milk or breast milk in bottles. Avoid filling the bottle with liquids such as sugar water, juice or soft drinks.

-Infants should finish their bedtime and nap time bottles before going to bed.

-If your child uses a pacifier, provide one that is clean. DO NOT dip it in sugar or honey.

-Encourage your child to drink from a cup by their first birthday.

-Encourage healthy eating habits.

Conclusion To Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

It is important to get children started on a path to good health. This includes practicing good dental hygiene. Schedule a dental visit for your child by age 1 or when the first tooth appears. For most this first dental visit is a well check and more about education than treatment. Oral care, when started early, will be a fun time for the two of you for years to come. You are the role model, so be encouraging, and they will develop your good habits.

 

National Children’s Dental Health Month

Bringing Awareness to our Children’s Dental Health

 

Children's Dental Health Marielaina Perrone DDS

Dental care for children is one of the most important events in a child’s development. Not only will good dental care and experiences set the tone for an entire life of dental Pediatric Dentistry Marielaina Perrone DDScare but also keep them healthy and happy. The first dental visit is an extremely important step in a child’s life.

Best Age For First Visit?

The ideal time for a child’s first dental visit is about 6 months after the first tooth eruption, or up to 2 years old. The reason for this timing is to give the dentist a chance to assess development of the child’s mouth as well as to dispense dental hygiene instructions, help with teething, thumb sucking, and pacifier sucking issues to the parents. Dental issues, and tooth decay can start early, so it is best to see the dentist sooner than later.

So What happens at the first visit?

The first dental visit is usually quite short and probably will not involve any treatment. This visit is usually designed as a meet and greet in a non threatening and very friendly way. Usually the child will sit in the parents lap, and experience a ” tell, show, do” visit. This is where the dentist talks to the child , shows the instruments, lets them touch things, and does a limited dental examination. Depending on the dentist and child, parents may or may not be asked to wait outside. Each child, and parent will be different in how they handle being at the dentist.

During the dental examination, your dentist will check all of your child’s existing teeth for tooth decay, examine your child’s bite, and look for any potential problems with the gums, jaw, and oral tissues. If necessary, the dentist will clean any teeth and check the need for fluoride application. The big component of the first dental visit at this age is dental hygiene education as well as answering any questions that parents might have.

Pediatric Dentistry Marielaina Perrone DDSThe early dental visit will help you and your child build trust in your dentist. As a parent, you will see, that every 6 months there is a huge change in your child’s development and maturity. So, be assured, that even if your child cannot handle very much the first visit, it will become markedly easier at the next 6 month visit. For a child, they will become used to the dental visits, and usually look forward to them.

Dental Education Can Include:

-How to maintain a good oral hygiene regimen for your child’s teeth and gums as well as cavity prevention.

-Assess the need for fluoride supplements.

-Oral habits and their effects. These include thumb sucking, pacifier habits, and tongue thrusting.

-Developmental issues like teething.

-Nutrition instructions including foods, and beverages to avoid to decrease chance of tooth decay.

-Schedule of dental examinations. Most children are seen every 6 months just like adults. This allows the child to become more and more comfortable at the dentist as well as allow the dentist to closely monitor development and promptly treat any issues.

First Dental X-Rays for Children?

In general, dental x-rays should be taken when a child has back teeth which are in tight contact with each other, when a cavity is detected, or an anomaly is noted. Back teeth x-rays, (bite wings) and a jaw x-ray,(panoramic) should be taken by age 6 to assess developing teeth. It all depends on the children and their risk levels for dental problems like tooth decay or cleft lip/palate. If the child is deemed to be at a higher risk, then x-rays will be necessary earlier. Most children will have had their first dental x-rays by age 6. Dental X-rays play an important role in allowing your dentist to see if all permanent teeth are developing properly in your child’s jaw as well as detecting tooth decay.

Conclusion

The main takeaway is that children need proper dental care and instruction to maintain their dental health. The earlier you get started with your kids the better off they will be  as children and as adults.