A Parent’s Guide to Infant and Toddler Dental Care

childrens dentist Tarrant CountyA parent’s responsibility to maintain great overall and dental health for their infant carries a lifetime of commitment and a bundle of accountability. Your children’s dentist provides a wonderful source to stay informed on all you can do to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy.

Your baby’s teeth actually form while still in the womb. They will begin to erupt around the age of four to six months. Once teeth start to break through the gums, your infant might experience discomfort and cry and/or run a fever, which are symptoms of teething.  A cold teething ring might provide some relief. There are some topical medications that might help as well.

As your baby’s teeth appear, wiping them clean daily with a soft cloth is advised. The baby should never be put down for a nap or for the night with anything in their baby bottle except water. Formula, milk, and juices all contain sugar. If the baby is allowed to go to sleep with these contents in their mouth, the sugary liquid literally lingers on teeth for hours leading to the potential of dental decay.

At one year of age, your child should have their first appointment with the children’s dentist. This first visit consists primarily of an exam to make sure your child’s oral health is on course. This is the perfect opportunity to discuss your kid’s dental health and learn what is needed to protect their teeth and gums.

Appointments should be kept regularly. This will allow your child to become familiar with the activities of the dental office. If your child is taken to the dentist for the first time due to a dental problem, subsequent visits will always be resisted.

As your toddler grows, brushing daily with an age appropriate fluoridated tooth paste is a hands-on daily responsibility. Your child needs to know how to brush, spit, and floss. Allowing your child to watch you is a wonderful teacher.

As your child gains coordination, they will eventually learn to brush and floss on their own; but daily monitoring is usually still needed.

In addition to brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the children’s dentist, a healthy diet is critical limiting sugary snacks and beverages to special occasions. Following these guidelines will promote great dental health that will serve your child well for life. 

If you have further questions, call our team at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry!

What causes white spots on my child’s teeth?

kids dentist Fort WorthWhite spots can occur for a number of reasons. Since teeth actually form in the womb, those white spots might be a genetic issue, not something external following your child’s birth. A visit with your kid’s dentist will help to determine if the spots are due to something you can control.

White spots can be from a mineral imbalance, excessive fluoride, certain medications, or active dental decay. Another problem causing stain or spotting on baby teeth can be due to a very common development called enamel hypoplasia. This can appear to be white, yellow, or brown in color.

Pediatric dentistry offers answers and solutions; if white spots have appeared on baby teeth and been diagnosed as decay, repairing the decay will allow your dentist to make corrections using a tooth colored resin material. Decay can occur if your child’s teeth are not brushed frequently and correctly. Plaque that remains on teeth can eventually penetrate dental enamel forming a cavity.

If baby teeth were not spotted, but your child’s permanent teeth develop discoloration or white spots the primary consideration might be excessive fluoride. Permanent teeth are forming around age three so if the child received fluoride supplements, dental stain might be attributed to fluorosis. Unless a child lives in an area where water is not fluoridated, supplements are usually not needed.

If the child comes to our kid’s dentist with white spots, an exam will be done following an interview so the dental provider has enough background information to ascertain why spotting has developed. Tooth deterioration can occur if the problem is due to decalcified enamel.

Permanent teeth can be treated with a tooth colored bonding material to blend away stain if the problem is cosmetic only. Since primary teeth will be lost over time, treating them cosmetically is usually not dictated. But as your child grows, their self-esteem can be impacted if dental stain remains on permanent teeth.

Caring for your child’s teeth will have a life-long impact on your child’s dental and overall health. Caring for their dental health requires persistence, instruction, and hands-on care until your child is coordinated and responsible enough to brush and floss on their own.

In addition to brushing and flossing, pediatric dentistry can provide the tools and treatment to maintain your child’s excellent oral health which will serve them well for their lifetime.

Contact us at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry to schedule your child’s next appointment!