Since baby teeth begin to form before birth, it should be no surprise that a child’s dental care really begins during the mother’s pregnancy. Pregnancy is a time when the mother makes important choices (or not) to eat balanced, nutritious meals and ingest the necessary amount of the essential vitamins and minerals to support a healthy pregnancy. Furthermore, pregnant women should have a thorough dental exam and have any cavities or gum disease addressed and treated, as well.
Infant teeth first appear through the gums at or around the age of six months. This is also the awkward, clumsy stage of development when infants are learning to crawl, sit, stand, or take steps. As we provide emergency dental services at Easton Dental, the most common infant dental injuries we see happen as a result of a fall or impact, resulting in a direct blow to the teeth.
In many cases, the teeth become loose or displaced, as the bones in which the teeth roots are anchored are still soft and elastic. A study conducted by researchers at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio suggests that within a 10-year span an estimated 45,398 children under the age of three required emergency room treatment due to accidents involving baby bottles, pacifiers and sippy cups. These are injuries that are preventable.
Below are guidelines that we suggest to promote infant oral health and prevent dental injuries:
● Do not put your infant or small child to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, juice, or other product that contains sugar. The sugar and acids in these liquids can cause tooth decay. Do not prop the bottle up in your baby’s mouth. Remove the bottle as soon as your baby has finished feeding or is asleep.
● Use lidless cups by 12 months of age to prevent dental injuries from falls and impacts, and limit the use of the pacifier after the age of six months to prevent infections.
● If your child sucks his or her fingers or thumb, help your child to stop. If the child can’t stop, contact your dentist.
● Experts recommend that dental care for children start at 12 months of age and continue with routine visits every 6 months afterwards.
For more information or to schedule an emergency dental appointment for your child or infant, contact the friendly, professional staff at The Dental Center at Easton Town Center today! We provide family dental services to patients throughout the Central Ohio area – call for directions today.