At Home Dental Care
The importance of dental care at a very early age
The team at Smile Sonrisa Dental & Orthodontics is passionate about giving all children the best possible start in life. Early dental visits for infants offer an opportunity to educate and familiarize parents with their children’s oral health. We will discuss information relative to oral habits and dental injury prevention tailored to each child’s age and stage of development. Dental exams in infancy can identify disease early because untreated dental disease increases in severity and the timely intervention has a great potential to reduce the overall costs associated with more extensive dental treatment in young children.
The importance of healthy baby teeth
Preventing decay in baby teeth can help prevent problems with permanent teeth. If primary teeth are lost too soon because of decay, the remaining teeth will start to shift toward the space left behind, blocking the eruption of some of the adult teeth or making them come in crooked, requiring future orthodontics services. Decayed baby teeth can additionally cause damage to the underlying adult teeth.
Caring for baby’s gums and teeth
Care for your baby’s mouth can begin at birth. At least twice a day, and preferably after every feeding, you should wipe your baby’s gums gently with a soft washcloth or piece of gauze. This helps remove sticky plaque from the mouth that can cause damage to the teeth as they erupt at around six months of age. Once the teeth emerge from the gums, you can brush them with a soft toothbrush and plain water. At about one year of age, you can start using a baby toothpaste that does not contain fluoride. Our dentists will advise you on when it is time to start using small amounts of fluoride toothpaste when brushing.
Establishing good brushing habits
Keep brushing your children’s teeth until they are old enough to hold the brush correctly. At that point, you can brush your teeth together so that you can model proper techniques. Even then, your children will miss spots, so continue to supervise and help them out if necessary until they can brush, rinse, and spit the correct way without assistance.
Baby bottle tooth decay
Tooth decay in infants and toddlers is often called Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. It frequently occurs in the upper front teeth, but other teeth may also be affected. In some cases, the decay can be so severe that their teeth cannot be saved and need to be removed. Extensive tooth decay can occur if your child is allowed to use the breast, bottle, or sippy cup as a pacifier when falling asleep, the liquid pools around the teeth, forming acids that destroy tooth enamel. To prevent this, avoid bedtime or naptime feedings, wipe your baby’s teeth with gauze after feedings, and give your child a bit of water to rinse the mouth. Most importantly, wean your child from the bottle around his or her first birthday and move to a sippy cup or regular cup. At this time, they should be drinking mostly water throughout the day and plain milk at mealtimes.
We are here to help
To learn more about keeping your child’s teeth and gums healthy from infancy to adulthood, contact us today to make an appointment. Our baby dental care experts are happy to instruct you on healthy habits and provide cleanings and fluoride treatments to protect your child’s teeth from decay.
First Dental Home Care
Children enrolled in Texas Medicaid are eligible to receive preventive dental services, including First Dental Home visits. Smile Sonrisa Dental & Orthodontics offers First Dental Home visits to any Medicaid-enrolled child six through 35 months of age at any time during this period. The child can be a new patient or an existing patient who is under three years of age. First Dental Home Visit allows a maximum of 10 appointments and a recall schedule of every three months until his or her 3rd birthday.
First Dental Home Visits must include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Comprehensive oral examination.
- Oral hygiene instruction with the primary caregiver.
- Dental prophylaxis, if appropriate.
- Topical fluoride varnish application when teeth are present.
- Caries risk assessment.
- Dental anticipatory guidance.
After a child reaches his or her 3rd birthday, the dental periodicity schedule allows for periodic dental recall visits every six months.