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Tooth Care Pregnancy through Childhood Dr. Alison Jones.

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1 Tooth Care Pregnancy through Childhood Dr. Alison Jones

2 Cavity Causing Bacteria Tooth decay is caused by a certain strain of bacteria called Streptococcus mutans, which can be transferred from adult to baby. If Mom, Dad, or other caretakers of infants have had cavities, they are likely to transfer the bacteria to baby’s mouth if precautions are not taken. 1. Regular dental visits 2. Chew gum containing “xylitol” 3. Do not share cups, utensils, or “clean” a dirty pacifier by putting it your mouth. Children are less likely to develop decay in baby or adult teeth if they have not been exposed to the bacteria.

3 1 st Birthday Visit The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Dental Association (ADA) both advise that a child be seen by a dentist by they turn one year old. Early prevention and education will decrease the risk that your child needs to have dental work done, other than regular cleanings and check-ups. Ask your dentist about fluoride varnish starting at age one. Prepare your child by reading positive books about what to expect at the dentist office Make it a “fun” experience and never tell children anything scary or threatening – “If you have a cavity, the dentist will stick you will a needle!” – Dentists have kid friendly words to make exams and fillings easier

4 Bottles / Sippy Cups You should never put your child down to bed/nap with a bottle or sippy cup of milk, formula or juice. These liquids contain sugars that can pool around the baby’s teeth and cause early decay For older children limit milk/juices to mealtime and do not allow children to have sippy with milk/juice to sip on throughout the day. As soon as child is old enough and has enough dexterity, start transitioning to a regular cup instead of a sippy. This will help in proper development and spacing of teeth. Constantly having bottle, sippy, pacifier/thumb in child S mouth can cause an “open-bite.” Your child should stop using a bottle or switch to a cup by the age of one.

5 Tooth and gum care for your baby/toddler Before the first tooth erupts, regularly wipe the gums with a clean, wet washcloth. After the first tooth erupts, it is time to switch to a soft bristly baby toothbrush or small silicone bristled brush made for babies. There are non-fluoride “training” toothpastes available for babies until he/she can spit on their own. However, it is a good idea to work in a small amount of fluoride toothpaste at age 1. – Fluoridated toothpaste can reduce your child’s risk by 30% When teeth first erupt, they are more susceptible to develop tooth decay Only a small, pea-sized amount of toothpaste is needed Brush teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time Change toothbrush when bristles begin to fray, or at 3 months Start flossing when two teeth start to touch This will greatly reduce plaque and bacteria and keep teeth/gums healthy

6 Baby teeth are important! Many people assume that baby teeth are not important because they will fall out and you will get a new one eventually. However, baby teeth serve several important purposes. – Allow child to chew effectively and maintain proper nutrition – Need to stay healthy (cavity- free) so child does not develop infection or abscess – Proper speech development – Baby teeth serve as place holders for adult teeth Don’t let this happen to your child!

7 What do I do if my child knocks out or breaks a tooth? 1. Immediately try to find the tooth and handle it carefully. 2. Gently rinse the tooth off in water – No scrubbing, no soap 3. Place tooth in cup of milk as soon as possible and call your dentist right away 4. If possible, the tooth can be replanted back into the socket and can be maintained by your dentist. 5. If your child breaks or chips a tooth, call your dentist right away so your child can be examined and the tooth can be repaired as soon as possible.

8 Sports mouthguards are very important! You send your children off to play sports with helmets, shin guards and pads, but do they wear a mouthguard? Mouthguards will protect teeth, as well as reduce the force of traumatic blows that can cause a concussion, neck injury, or jaw injury/fracture. They are not just for football…they should be worn in soccer, skateboarding, in-line skating, lacrosse, hockey, basketball, or any sport where your child is likely to receive a blow to the face, or may fall causing injury.

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