A family dentist can offer guidance during the first years of life to help keep the teeth in good condition. Here are some of the suggestions that they may provide.
Recommendations From Babyhood Through Toddlerhood
Many children develop their first teeth around the sixth month of life. Once the teeth erupt, the child should be seen by a pediatric or family dentist. The dentist advises parents on how to deal with common issues that may occur through toddlerhood, such as teething, thumb sucking, and weaning.
During teething, a child may experience oral discomfort. The dentist can suggest ways to soothe the pain, such as oral analgesic gels, cool washcloths, and teething rings.
If a child has a habit of sucking their thumb, the little one may develop several problems, such as misaligned teeth and speech impediments. A family dentist can offer recommendations to help the child overcome the detrimental habit before long-term effects occur. Here are a few suggestions that the dentist may offer:
- Praise the child when they avoid thumb sucking.
- Coat the child's thumb in a bitter or unsavory substance.
- Cover the child's thumb with a glove.
Babies and young toddlers may also find it difficult to transition from a bottle to a cup. However, family dentists know that the prolonged use of a bottle can make a child more susceptible to a serious type of dental decay called baby bottle decay. The condition occurs when a child's teeth are bathed in the milk, juice, or other sugary contents of a bottle.
Parents often offer their child a bottle to soothe the youngster to sleep. However, as a child sleeps, their swallowing reflex relaxes, allowing a bottle's contents to pool in the oral cavity. The decay occurs as the bacteria in the mouth release acids as digestive byproducts from feeding on the sugars in the bottle's contents. Baby bottle decay can be so severe that it causes the teeth to blacken from the condition.
To help a parent wean their child, the dentist may recommend that only water is put in the child's bottles, allowing all other liquids to be offered in a cup. As the child grows, the family dentist may offer preventive services, such as fluoride treatments and dental sealants, to lessen the chance of decay.
To schedule your next dental appointment, contact a dental professional like Thomas Krull, DDS, PC today.Share