Family Dental Care: The Early Years
Starting a family is exciting, scary, and immensely rewarding in ways that are hard to describe. If you are preparing to have a family, you will want to do everything you can to make your children’s lives as happy and healthy as they can be.
This should include their oral health and hygiene. To help you, we have put together a three-part series on family dentistry for our patients (and future patients) in Auburn Hills, Troy, and Rochester Hills, MI, and everyplace between them.
Oral health is important for your overall health. Our team at Hubbard & Leath Dental wants you to have information that will help you and your children keep your mouths healthy for decades to come.
Today’s post will focus on prenatal concerns and how you can keep your child’s mouth healthy before during their first years of life.
What To Expect During Pregnancy
If you are planning to become pregnant or you are already pregnant, then you are likely aware that pregnancy affects your body in a lot of ways.
One of the changes that take place is your body starts producing more progesterone. This hormone helps to create a healthy environment in your uterus for your baby to grow. This is an important function for your growing son or daughter.
Unfortunately, this hormone also affects blood flow to your gums. This can make you more likely to develop gum disease.
For this reason, it’s essential that you remember to brush twice a day and floss every day as well. Both of these remove bacteria and plaque that can be precursors to periodontal disease.
Some symptoms to watch for include bleeding gums, red and swollen gums, receding gums (gums that are separating from your teeth), persistent bad breath, and loose teeth. If you notice any of these signs, please contact us so we can help you treat your gum disease as quickly as possible.
When Your Child Arrives
You should start your child’s oral care as soon as he or she is born. Even before his or her first tooth erupts, you can start protecting your child’s mouth.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends using a moist cloth or a soft toothbrush to gently clean your baby’s gums a couple times each day.
When his or her first tooth emerges, then you will want to brush it gently twice each day. As soon as your child has a tooth, he or she can develop tooth decay.
You will need a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste. Think the size of a grain of rice. Scrub gently to remove bacteria and prevent plaque.
As more teeth erupt, you will want to pay attention to their locations. Once your child has two teeth that are next to one another, you should begin flossing gently between those teeth once per day.
Brushing and flossing become even more important once your child’s diet includes more than breastmilk and/or formula. Try to limit giving your child juice to snack times and meals.
First Trip To The Dentist
We welcome families to bring their children to our office for the first time around the age of 2. Our hope is that routine visits to the dentists will be a regular part of your and your child’s life.
Oral health is an important factor in your overall health, after all.
We know that different children will react very differently to coming to our office for the first time. Some are incredibly curious about the tools we use and what we do. Others are timid because they are in a new place.
Our goal during your child’s first visit with us to make his or her experience as pleasant as possible. Your baby will get to go for a ride in the dentist chair, pick a toy from our treasure chest, and even get special glasses to wear.
You will be with your child throughout this visit, which also makes it a good opportunity for you to ask any questions you have about our approach to dentistry and home oral care.
Laying A Healthy Foundation
You want your children to be healthy, and you want them to understand that protecting their teeth is important. We are happy to assist in any way that we can.