Dental wellness is a vital component of overall infant health. Kid’s Dental is dedicated to the principle of lifelong dental health through prevention and well being, showing that the right dental and nutritional decisions can have a profound effect on a child’s life and future.
Key elements in promoting dental wellness include:
- Early intervention
- Cavity risk assessment
- Anticipatory guidance
- Lifestyle commitment to
- Good nutrition
In spite of all our modern technological advances many children are still affected by dental caries. Caries in baby teeth is the most common health problem affecting young children today. Approximately 50% of children ages 2 through 9, have dental caries and 92% of children between the ages of 8 to 18 demonstrate moderate gum inflammation. Tens of thousands of school days are lost each year as a result of dental disease and injuries.
The consumption of sugar keeps increasing with the average person now consuming 155 pounds of sugar per year. Good nutrition is essential for both general and dental health. Good eating habits and food preferences are established early in childhood. Poor nutrition is the leading cause of obesity which is reaching epidemic proportions with a correlating increase in the incidence of juvenile diabetes and heart disease. Sadly most children crave sugar and other junk food that they see in TV commercials. Various food processing companies focus their advertising on children, who do not have the critical skills to make an informed value judgement or understand the companies’ profit motives.
At Kids Dental we recommend that a child’s first oral health visit take place no later than 12 months of age, or shortly after the eruption of the first baby teeth. This is an ideal time for our team to evaluate your child’s oral, dental and nutritional health, as well as to diagnose any problems which may exist.
During this first visit we will:
- Inquire about your child’s medical history.
- Learn about your child’s dietary and feeding habits.
- Assess the need for fluoride supplements.
- Evaluate the child’s oral hygiene.
- Examine the mouth for dental caries or other problems.
- Perform a caries risk assessment.
- Implement age appropriate oral hygiene techniques.
- Introduce the concept of wellness as a lifestyle choice.
- Provide guidance for injury prevention.
- Prepare to provide preventive, interceptive or restorative services.
Examination of the infant 6 months after the first tooth erupts and at no later than 12 months of age, allows our team to intervene before oral health is compromised by deficient oral hygiene or improper feeding habits.
During these first visits early signs of childhood caries such as “white spot” lesions at the necks and inside surfaces of the upper front teeth can also be detected. These are white, chalky areas on the front teeth, close to the gum line. These decalcifications, caused by acid producing bacteria, directly precede irreversible loss of tooth structure.
Oral hygiene techniques may be modified depending on your child’s age. For small infants, the gums and teeth need to be cleaned once or twice a day with a piece of clean gauze. Infants should be introduced to the toothbrush around the age of one. At around 2 years a small pea-sized drop of children’s toothpaste can be applied to the toddler’s brush.
Brushing baby teeth can be quite challenging for new parents. Some infants and toddlers may refuse to let parents brush their teeth. Games of sharing the duties by taking turns with rewards often work. The initial brushing attempts need only last a few seconds.
The good news is that our mission driven approach is easily achievable. By providing a healthy diet, minimizing the consumption of candies, cleaning your child’s teeth at least twice a day, and seeing us regularly, your child can have a happy, healthy smile!