How to keep your kids’ teeth cavity-free in Middletown OH, in 4-plus steps
Cavities are one of the most common chronic conditions among children in the United States; by age 12, one in five kids will have at least one decayed tooth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Baby teeth generally erupt between the ages of six to 33 months (front teeth erupt well before back molars). They play an important role in the healthy development of permanent teeth, and your child’s overall development during his or her formative years.
Cavities or tooth decay are preventable. As your family’s “oral care home,” University Dental of Middletown OH welcomes questions about how to keep your kids’ teeth cavity-free, and at their healthiest, most beautiful best!
Getting your child off to a healthy start, before birth
Dental care starts even before a child is born. The dentists at University Dental monitor pregnant women’s oral health through pregnancy. Expectant mothers are at such an increased risk of developing gum disease due to hormonal changes, that there is a term for this condition: pregnancy gingivitis. Existing gingivitis can be made worse during pregnancy, too.
Yet another hat tip to how the health of the mouth affects the rest of the body, the American Dental Association reports women with advanced gum disease are four to seven times more likely to have low birthweight or premature babies than their healthy counterparts. Our team works with you to keep your mouth healthy or get existing oral conditions under control, for the good of your health as well as that of your unborn child.
Well baby check-ups, early and often
We abide by American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry guidelines; caregivers are encouraged to schedule a child’s first “well baby check-up” as soon as the first tooth comes in, or by no later than his or her first birthday. Besides checking for decay and other problems that can threaten healthy development, our dental team demonstrates ways to keep your child’s mouth clean.
Cavities arise when that sticky bacterial film, plaque, flourishes unabated in your child’s mouth. Whenever sugary drinks or foods are consumed, the bacteria produce acids that attack developing teeth. Acids work their way through tooth structure, breaking through the protective enamel surface where they produce holes or cavities. Without treatment, cavities become larger, and decay may progress to the deeper layers of the tooth. A baby tooth may be lost, or an adult tooth may require root canal therapy just to “save it” from severe decay or to resolve an infection.
All these complications can be avoided with proper care and early monitoring of potential problems by dental professionals. A few considerations to chew on:
- Even a toothless baby mouth can produce harmful acids. It’s important to wipe your baby’s gums at least two times a day with a soft, clean cloth or gauze. Clean right after the morning feeding, and shortly before bed. Proper, consistent cleaning removes decay-promoting bacteria and sugars.
- Limit sugars and starches. A nutritious diet is good for your baby’s oral health and overall well-being during a pivotal time in his or her life. Avoid putting baby to bed with bottles containing juice or other sugary drinks. Likewise, resist the temptation to “pacify” with teething rings or other products dipped in sugary substances.
- Likewise, break habits that can cause orthodontic problems, or changes to the roof of the mouth. These habits include thumb-sucking and vigorous use of pacifiers. University Dental is here for you, with tips to promote good habits and take a big bite out of bad ones.
- Depending on your child’s age, apply a grain- to a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste on a soft-bristled brush designed for little mouths. Assist your child with brushing early on and monitor them to make sure they don’t swallow the toothpaste or eat it. Flossing at least once a day is important for patients of all ages and to clean what a toothbrush can’t; some children “take” to interdental cleaners in fun colors and kid-friendly designs.
We also offer an array of preventive products and treatments that you can only find at a professional dentist’s office. These include dental sealants to protect decay-prone, grooved back molars, cavity-fighting fluoride treatments, and custom mouth guards for all the little athletes in your life. Prevention saves money, too, and these types of treatments are often covered completely by insurance. A proud Medicaid and CHIP practice, University Dental welcomes your call at (855) 908 3676.