Dental Care for Infants & Children

Dental care should start at one year of age, with at least two check-ups per year.

In certain circumstances, more frequent care will be required to ensure optimal health for the child.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has provided the following checklist for infants and toddlers:

1. Birth to six months of age:

- Clean the infant’s mouth with gauze after feedings and at bedtime.

- Consult your child’s pediatrician regarding fluoride supplements.

- Regulate feeding habits (bottle feeding and breastfeeding)

2. Six to twelve months of age:

- First tooth should appear.

- Consult a pediatric dentist for an examination

- Brush teeth after each feeding and at bedtime with a small, soft-bristles brush.

- As the child begins to walk, stay alert of potential dental and/or facial injuries.

- Wean the child from breast or bottle by his/her first birthday.

3. 12 to 24 months of age:

- Follow schedule of dental examinations and cleanings as recommended by your child’s pediatric dentist. As a general rule, dental exams and cleanings are recommended every 6 months for children and adults.

Baby Teeth:

It is important to keep in mind that the deciduous teeth, more commonly known as baby teeth, are place holders for the future eruption of permanent teeth. Make note that when a baby tooth decays, it causes harm to the area required for permanent growth and often can only be regained by orthodontic treatment. The health of a child’s baby teeth is a gateway to how the permanent teeth form and grow.

Thumb Sucking:

If under the age of two, thumb sucking is normal and expected. This does need to be stopped before the age of 5. Excessive thumb-sucking can result in crowded and irregular teeth development and bite problems.

Diet to ensure dental health:

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends asking your pediatric dentist to assess the diet of your child.

Limiting unhealthy food for special occasions is also recommended. 

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