February is children’s dental health month and the need for early childhood care and awareness is vital for long term health. Because many of you are grandparents or primary caregivers of young children I thought it would be helpful for me to include information about children’s health issues from infants and up. This can even be passed on to the children’s parents for more awareness.
Pacifiers and Thumb Sucking
Sucking is a natural reflex for babies and serves to help them learn about their world, feel secure, calm themselves, and help them fall asleep. Most children will stop thumb sucking or using a pacifier between the ages of 2 and 4. Once permanent teeth begin to emerge, sucking on a thumb or pacifier can cause problems with growth and alignment.
Tooth-brushing for Toddlers
Parents should clean baby’s gums with gauze following all feedings. Once the first tooth has emerged, begin brushing your child’s teeth and gums with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a little water. When your child is able to hold the toothbrush and tries to brush himself, supervise carefully and then brush again to make sure every surface has been brushed. As children learn how to brush, begin using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and teach them to spit out the toothpaste, rinsing well with water.
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and we want to help your children develop a happy, healthy smile!
“Well Baby” Dental Exams
The American Dental Association recommends that the first dental visit take place within six months of the appearance of the first tooth, and no later than the child’s first birthday. Early childhood dental visits will allow your dentist to check the teeth for signs of decay and monitor progress and potential problems with emerging teeth. Your dentist can also make sure your child is receiving the proper amount of fluoride for healthy teeth. This visit will also give your child the opportunity to become comfortable with the dentist and dental visits.
Making a Successful Transition from Baby Bottle to Cup
As harmless as it may seem, allowing your child to drink from a baby bottle for too long can expose him or her to baby bottle tooth decay. From the time your child’s first teeth appear, they need to be protected from frequent and prolonged exposure to liquids such as fruit juice, milk or formula, which all contain sugar. Infants should finish their naptime or bedtime bottle before going to bed, as liquids can pool in the mouth and lead to decay when babies are allowed to fall asleep with a bottle.
During the transition into from primary teeth to the adult teeth there is a lot to be considered. Your dentist can evaluate and detect cavities, analyze growth of the jaws to see if there may be problems with your child’s mouth. Prevention is critical with proper nutrition being considered essential eating with a balanced diet reducing the amounts of simple carbohydrates such as soda and snacks. These not only cause cavities, but rob the child’s body of much needed building blocks for their future. It is important to maintain regular dental visits for the early treatment of diseases.
Dental sealants are a protective layer that prevents cavities from settling into the deep grooves of the teeth. When properly done they can last many years and keep the child cavity free.
Early detection of growth discrepancies between the bone and the size of the teeth can be analyzed and treated at an early age. This takes advantage of the fact that when the child is growing, some growth can be directed with orthodontic appliances and braces.
Macomb County Dentist Discusses Children’s Dental Health Month
Management of your child and the development of good habits start from a young age but we have been able to transition many children who had poor health to ones who are maintained and have good checkups each 6 months they return. Contact our Macomb County Dental office if you would like your child or grandchild evaluated.
Haiti Mission Trip Update:
I will be going to Haiti again for my 15th annual trip. This year we are blessed to be providing dental, medical and pharmaceutical services to over 1000 Haitians. We have 2 physicians, 1 Physician assistant, 2 nurses, 2 general dentists, 1 oral surgeon and 1 pharmacist along with many who will be supporting the medical teams. We are from many churches including Trinity Lutheran Utica, Faith Lutheran in Troy, Shepherd’s Gate in Shelby Twp. The message of Jesus Christ and the hope of Salvation will be the core focus while we provide these highly needed medical services. We would appreciate your faithful prayers. I want to thank those patients of mine who donated old crowns and money so I can help the pastor help the orphans in the orphanage in Ouanaminthe Haiti.