The American Dental Association (ADA), American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, (AAPD) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, (AAP) recommend parents take their baby to the dentist by age one. Establishing a Dental Home is an important step in a baby's life. At this appointment, Dr. Karr can check for tooth decay or any other issues, as well as teach you how to properly care for your baby's new teeth and how to handle any potentially negative habits, such as thumb sucking. She'll reveal all the secrets to keeping your baby free from cavities and mouth pain. A lap to lap exam, where a child is held in the parent's lap while still seeing them during the exam, is a comforting way to accomplish this. This allows Dr. Karr to establish the child's dental health risk level, which helps determine how soon to start a professional cleaning and/or fluoridated toothpaste.
Even Little Ones Get Cavities
Parents should begin preventive care early because even infants can develop dental problems. One common issue is often referred to as "baby bottle tooth decay" (bottle rot). As soon as a child's first tooth comes in, decay is possible, but there are several ways to prevent your baby from developing early-onset tooth decay. The AAPD recommends that mothers avoid at-will breast feeding and falling asleep while nursing once the baby's first teeth begin to erupt and other food sources have become part of the baby's diet. Children should also never be given fruit juice in a bottle, nor should they be allowed to sleep with a bottle containing anything other than water. Parents should clean their baby's gums with a soft infant toothbrush or a gentle cloth, and as soon as the first teeth appear, parents should begin brushing the child's tooth (or teeth) with a soft brush. Instilling these simple practices should keep your baby's teeth and gums healthy and set the stage for good dental habits for both you and your child.