Infant Oral Health
Good oral health care habits start young, and bringing infants to the dentist from an early age helps eliminate anxiety over the dentist, setting a foundation for a lifetime of healthy teeth.
Just as you teach your children other self-care habits, such as potty-training and bathing, you want to emphasize that caring for one’s teeth is important. Taking your child to the dentist helps to normalize this behavior, and it means that he or she is much more likely to continue visiting the dentist regularly as an adult.
Recommendations from the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advise that your child see the dentist for the first time at about the age of 12 months, and Austin children's dentist Dr. Christina Ramirez concurs.
Of course, if you have concerns about your child’s oral health before that age, you are welcome to call Tiny Texans Pediatric Dentistry to make an appointment!
The Long-Term Ramifications of Poor Oral Health
It is believed that nearly 20 percent of Americans don’t go to the dentist regularly out of fear.
Seeing a pediatric dentist from an early age can prevent dental anxiety from forming in your children. A pediatric dentist is well-equipped to make visiting the dentist seem fun and safe, establishing a positive association with dental care right from the beginning.
The implications of poor oral health run deep. It has been documented that kids with poor oral hygiene miss more days of school, visit the emergency room more frequently, and have a reduced ability to learn. They also tend to need expensive dental treatment down the road.
Infant Oral Health Issues
Oral health issues are not common in infants, but most parents have questions about how to take care of their child’s gums and first teeth.
Before teeth come in, we recommend using a soft washcloth and water to gently clean gums after feeding—or at least once a day right before bedtime. You can use a specially designed infant toothpaste if you would like, although this is not necessary.
Once the first tooth erupts, you can switch to a soft toothbrush. When you come in for your child’s first dental appointment, we can go over this, and we will show you just how to do it properly.
Just as important as cleaning the teeth and gums is ensuring your child is getting the proper nutrition. Start establishing good dietary habits now by limiting sugary snacks and beverages, and encouraging healthy foods and plenty of water.
If your child uses a pacifier or is a thumb-sucker to self-soothe, rest assured that this is appropriate behavior in the early years. By the time your child is about three years old, however, these habits can negatively impact dental development. Ask Dr. Christina for help with strategies on breaking these habits in your child.
Why Tiny Texans Pediatric Dentistry?
Choose us because we treat your children as if they were our own. Our focus is on knowledge, education, and preventive treatment to keep your kids’ smiles happy and healthy.
Call our office today to schedule an appointment for your infant and set your child up for a lifetime of good dental habits.