The following information is provided to help keep your child’s teeth health and clean. If you have any questions on the material below, feel free to ask. We’re here to help!
Infant Oral Hygiene
Use a small washcloth or gauze to wipe your child’s gums after each feeding. When teeth erupt, switch to a toothbrush with a small brush head and soft bristles. Only use a pea size amount of fluoridated toothpaste, because most young children will swallow a great portion of the toothpaste.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (BBTD)
BBTD can occur when a child’s teeth are exposed to sugar for an extended period of time. Such sugars are in milk, formula, fruit juice and soda. To prevent BBTD, brush your child’s teeth after each feeding, and wean your child off the bottle by 12-18 months. If a bottle is still used, fill it only with water.
As your child develops more independence, encourage them to brush their own teeth twice daily, but make sure you supervise and check for any “spots” they missed. Assist your child with flossing until age 7-8 years. Flossing should begin when two teeth contact each other, and cannot be properly cleaned by brushing alone.
Early Dental Visits
As recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), regular dental care should begin by one year of age. During the first few visits, the dentist will examine your child’s oral growth and development, check for cavities and discuss oral hygiene, diet, fluoride supplementation, home care and prevention.
Fluoride is an adjunct to caries prevention by strengthening tooth enamel. promoting remineralization of tooth structure and by its anti-microbial nature. To take advantage of such benefits, there is an optimal amount of fluoride your child should receive daily based upon their age and weight. Common sources of fluoride are drinking water, fluoride tablets or drops, fluoridated toothpaste and professional fluoride treatments. Your child’s dentist will evaluate whether or not your child is receiving the optimal recommended daily dosage of fluoride. Most of the communities in Ventura County are not optimally fluoridated and supplementation may be necessary to achieve optimal benefits.
A well balanced diet is important for the development of your child’s teeth. A diet high in carbohydrates, such as sugar and starch, may place your child at risk for cavities. All types of sugar, which include those in fruits, vegetables, milk, bread and even potato chips, can cause tooth decay. Serve such foods with meals, not as a snack. Equally important, is the frequency of how often your child eats. With every exposure to sugar, the level of acid in the mouth increases. Frequent and continuous acid exposure to teeth will start the cavity process. It is important to minimize snacking and avoid frequent sipping of sweetened drinks.