Austin, Texas (PRWEB) August 20, 2013
Contrary to what some parents may believe, the primary teeth of a child (often referred to as “baby” teeth) are just as significant as the permanent teeth they will develop in their later adolescent years. For most babies, primary teeth begin to erupt through the gum line when children are between the ages of six months and one year. These teeth are fundamental in a child’s developmental process, helping them learn to chew and talk. They also maintain the jaw space for the growing permanent teeth beneath the gums.
In order to ensure proper care of children’s primary teeth and their overall oral health, Dr. Chad Denman, an Austin dentist / Round Rock dentist and owner of Family Tree Dental Group, has put together a list of tips for parents:
1) Children’s teeth begin to form during the second trimester of a pregnancy, so pregnant women should eat foods containing calcium (including dairy, whole grains and leafy greens).
2) Limit formula mixed with fluoridated water during the baby’s first year to help reduce the risk of fluorosis. Giving the infant breast or ready-to-feed formula helps reduce this risk. Another option is to reconstitute concentrated liquid and powered formulas with low fluoride or fluoride-free water.
3) After children celebrate their first birthday, drinking formula mixed with fluoridated water is fine because they’ve developed more and formula is no longer the primary part of their diet.
4) Parents should bring babies in at the first sign of a tooth or if they notice anything abnormal with the gums or mouth. Initial visits are mainly for parents’ edification, covering topics like pediatric dental nutrition and cleanings.
5) Even though baby teeth only stick around for a few years, it’s still very important to protect them. Early loss of baby teeth can cause crowded or crooked permanent teeth and can affect facial appearance and speech.
6) To help alleviate teething pain, try rubbing the gums with a clean finger or a small, cold spoon. Also try a clean, chilled teething ring for them to chew on. The dentist may recommend anti-inflammatory medication or over-the-counter topical ointments for numbing the gums.
7) When a child is teething, if a fever, diarrhea or a rash develops, call the pediatrician. It’s not a normal part of teething.
8) Children’s gums and teeth should be cleaned with a finger brush or a clean washcloth using just water without toothpaste for the first six months to a year.
9) Start a tooth-brushing routine from the time the child gets his or her first tooth. This will prevent plaque from forming and establish healthy oral hygiene habits.
10) The first toothbrush should have a soft brush and small head. At first, just wet the toothbrush. Around age one, use a pea-sized amount of a non-fluoridated toothpaste. Wait until the child is at least two years old before using fluoride toothpaste.
11) Children’s teeth, gums and tongue should be cleaned twice a day, just like an adult’s.
12) Since babies eat often, it’s imperative they drink lots of water to help rinse off sugars and neutralize the acids left behind by food.
13) After the first tooth eruption (around age one), children should not be put to bed with a bottle unless it contains only water. Even breast milk can lead to tooth decay if it remains in a baby’s mouth overnight or extended periods of time.
14) As soon as the child has two teeth touching, it’s time to begin flossing. It’s as important as flossing for adults, and will get kids in the habit early.
15) Parents should highlight healthy food choices that include limited candy, soft drinks and other sweets that can lead to the development of cavities. Cheese is healthy snack option as it adds calcium, stimulates saliva production and counteracts chemicals that can eat away at tooth enamel.
16) Annual fluoride treatments reduce tooth decay in children by 70%. If the local water supply does not have fluoride in it, children should be given a daily fluoride supplement.
17) If sodas are a must, follow them with a few sips of water to reduce the acid content in the mouth.
18) Serve fruit juice that is diluted with water to bring down the acid content.
19) Consider having the dentist place sealants, which will protect against cavity formation.
20) Discourage thumb-sucking past toddler years by covering the child’s hands with socks or gloves at night.
Family Tree Dental Group was founded in 2011 by Austin dentists - Round Rock dentists and identical twin brothers Drs. Chad and Shelby Denman to provide high-quality dental care in a state-of-the-art environment with careful attention to detail and deep personal respect. Family Tree Dental Group helps maintain the oral health of patients of all ages and cares for all dental needs under one roof. For more information, call (512) 458-5999 in Austin, (512) 310-3999 in Round Rock, or visit http://www.FamilyTreeDentalGroup.com.