We all know the drill: Brush your infant’s first tooth as soon as it sprouts, get her into a dental chair by age 1, and have her brush with a fluoride paste at age 2. However, thanks to the American Dental Association, we’ve outlined the following concerns that you might not have yet encountered.
Anesthesia and Sedation
Your dentist might recommend that your child be administered anesthesia or sedation to safely complete some dental procedures. Visit mouthhealthy.org to download questions to ask your dentist before any type of anesthesia.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
You can help prevent your baby from developing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay by wiping the gums with clean gauze. When teeth begin to come in, brush gently with a child’s size toothbrush and water. Infants should finish bottles before going to bed.
Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. Knowing how to handle them can mean the difference between saving and losing a permanent tooth. For all dental emergencies, take your child to the dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible.
Are you all too familiar with thumbsucking? Could your child need a mouthguard?—>
Sucking is a natural reflex which most children outgrow by age 4. If your child continues to thumbsuck after permanent teeth have come in, it can cause problems with tooth alignment. Talk to your dentist if you are worried about sucking habits.
If a primary tooth is lost too early, adult teeth can erupt into the empty space. To prevent inadequate room when more adult teeth are ready to come in, the dentist may recommend a space maintainer to hold open the space.
When your child participates in sports, cushion blows that would otherwise cause broken teeth, injuries, and even jaw fractures. If your child participates in recreational activities, ask your dentist about custom-fitted mouth protectors.
Malocclusion, or bad bite, is a condition in which the teeth are crowded, crooked, or out of alignment, or the jaws don’t meet properly. If not treated early, it can make it difficult to keep mouths clean, increasing the risk for cavities and gum disease.
Adapted with permission from The American Dental Association’s new mouthhealthy.org initiative.
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