4S Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics
Infant Oral Health Care
Infants Should See a Pediatric Dentist Before Their 1st Birthday
Many parents are surprised to hear that their infant should visit the pediatric dentist before their first birthday. Our patients’ first visit begins with a tour where we introduce both the parents and the children to our friendly and inviting office designed specifically for children. They will meet the dentist and will be checked for early childhood caries, also known as baby bottle decay. This condition can be detected as early as the first exam if unhealthy dietary habits such as frequent snacking on sugary foods and prolonged bottle feeding are occurring. After seeing the dentist, an oral hygiene instructor will see the child and demonstrate proper brushing, lending some advice to make brushing at home easier and more effective.
Until the child can tie their own shoes, they do not have the dexterity to brush their own teeth effectively; therefore an adult should assist the child with both brushing and flossing if appropriate. Many other topics can be addressed at a first visit such as pacifier and thumb habits and growth and development, as well as if the patient is obtaining adequate amounts of fluoride or if there are any needs for early or preventive orthodontic care.
As parents know all too well, as a child learns to walk and explore their surroundings the chance of oral trauma inevitably increases. Emergency dental care can be provided more comfortably if a relationship with a pediatric dentist has already been established.
Our baby teeth play a vital role in chewing, speaking clearly, guiding the eruption of our permanent teeth, and allowing children to smile with confidence. When we see children early we have a much better chance of preventing many dental problems. Infant oral exams are intended to get the child on the right path for a lifetime of healthy smiles.