Dental visits are usually associated with many unpleasant emotions from mild anxiety to extreme fear for adults, so you probably could not imagine taking your baby to the dentist. Babies and children can have dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Poor oral hygiene and gum disease has been linked to heart disease , kidney disease and preterm labor.
Tooth decay is the number one disease affecting children under the age of six years old. The bacteria that cause tooth decay can be transferred to your baby by sharing food and kissing her on the mouth.
As soon as your baby gets her first tooth schedule and appointment for her to see the dentist. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association infants should be seen by a dentist by the age of one to prevent Early Childhood Caries, (ECC), by counseling their care givers on oral hygiene, and nursing.
ECC can start when a child is allowed to fall asleep with abottle or “sippy” cupfilled with milk or juice. Breast feeding and bottle use on demand throughout the nigh, without cleansing the baby’s mouth afterwards, can also lead to decay, (this condition was once referred to as “bottle rot”).
Establish a dental home for your baby between 6 to 12 months old. By the time she is one years old she will have at least two teeth.
TIPS TO KEEP BABY CAVITY FREE:
- Always clean her mouth after feedings.
- Limit sweet snacks.
- Avoid sharing utensils with your baby.
- Put water in her bottle at bedtime.
- Establish a dental home for her by the time she is one years old.