Early Infant Oral Care
Early infant oral care can help establish a lifetime of healthy teeth. It is crucial to have the correct education and implement proper care when it comes to your infant’s oral health. At Great Grins for KIDS - Portland, we provide the necessary information you need to prevent your child from experiencing oral complications that may follow them into adulthood.
Pregnancy and Dental Care
The American Dental Association (ADA), has published reports that mothers can transfer harmful bacteria to their children during and after pregnancy. Pregnant women are at a greater risk of developing periodontal disease. Periodontal disease has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. To avoid spreading that disease to your child, you should follow these simple steps:
|Brush and floss on a daily basis
|Regular dental visits
|Proper diet (avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar and starch)
|Use an ADA recommended toothpaste
|If you have periodontal disease, do not share utensils, cups, or food with your infant
It is important to make the first visit to the dentist as enjoyable as possible. Make the experience a positive one by avoiding words that may cause fear, and maintain a calm demeanor. Some parents also find it helpful to bring along a toy or sing a song. This can help prevent unnecessary fear and anxiety in the future. We will typically do a dental exam and cleaning to improve oral hygiene.
The ADA recommends you schedule your infant’s first dental appointment no later than one year of age or when the first tooth erupts. Primary teeth will begin to erupt between the age of six and eight months. In most cases, Dr. Fariba Mutschler will perform an examination and provide information for a proper oral health care routine.
Baby bottle tooth decay is a common condition that is caused by long exposures to liquids or snacks that contain sugar or carbohydrates. Bacteria can cause liquids such as milk, formula, and juice, to turn into acid which creates holes in your infant’s teeth and causes cavities. Avoid putting your infant to bed with a bottle. If you do, make sure it does not contain anything other than water. This is a common mistake among new parents and can have drastic effects on your baby’s oral health. Avoid this mistake, and you can avoid long-term complications and surgical intervention.
Infant Oral Care Tips
There are several oral care tips that can help you maintain your infant’s oral health. During the first year, make sure to clean your infant’s gums at least twice a day. Preferably, this should be done after each feeding, in the morning, and at night. The best technique involves wiping the gums with a clean, wet gauze pad, wrapped around your index finger. When your child begins teething, you can brush their teeth with an appropriately-sized soft-bristled toothbrush. If your child has thumb, finger, and pacifier habits and teeth, it is important to detect and deter these habits early on. Schedule regular office visits as a preventive measure and for risk assessment. If your child has any oral health complications, it is best to catch it early and establish an appropriate treatment plan.
Contact Us About Early Infant Oral Care
If you would like schedule an appointment for your infant, call (971) 470-0054 today!