Pediatric Dentistry 101: Friendly Dental Care Reminders for the Parents of Young Children
There is a common misconception among parents that children do not need to see a dentist until their teeth start falling out. On the contrary, pediatric dentists urge parents to bring their children to the dentist's office by their child's first birthday. Dentists also agree that dental care must be carried out as soon as the baby teeth start to erupt.
Dental eruption starts at the incisors—which are the front cutting teeth—and then further toward the back. At two and a half years old, a child should have a full set of teeth, except for the third molars, also known as the wisdom teeth. This first set of teeth—called the milk teeth or deciduous teeth—are very hard but are vulnerable to injury and infection especially when lacking proper care. Dentists urge parents to care for their children's teeth because healthy baby teeth make way for healthy permanent teeth.
Parents should note that infant formulas and baby food contain chemicals that can harm babies' teeth. On the other hand, while there are not yet enough teeth in the baby's mouth to brush, parents are encouraged to wipe their baby's first teeth with a soft, non-abrasive cloth. As dental infections occur from prolonged exposure of the teeth to food particles, this can protect teeth before they can be brushed.
While a baby's teeth are growing, putting a baby to sleep while sucking on bottles of milk is not a good idea, according to dentists. Breast milk (whether expressed or directly from the breasts) are harmless, but infant formulas and fruit juices contain sugars that can harm the teeth. Medical practitioners of pediatric dentistry Atlanta parents recommend suggest giving babies water instead.
When a child has enough teeth to brush, parents must help children brush their teeth. Medical practitioners of pediatric dentistry Atlanta parents trust encourage parents to teach their children how to brush, telling them, "This is how you do it …" during sessions. It is also helpful for parents to brush their teeth together with their children, so that the latter can watch and learn. Moreover, candies, chips, and sodas are popular and easily accessible in most parts of the world. These snacks are craved by children, so it is a good idea to teach children to brush their teeth after eating these foods.
Lastly, there are some habits that parents should teach their children to refrain from. One notable example is finger-and thumb-sucking, as these habits can lead children to develop uneven teeth. Uneven teeth can be detected by a practitioner of pediatric dentistry Atlanta parents can rely on. If you need more information on pediatric dentistry, you can visit NLM.NIH.gov.
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