Dental Advice

Infants

Dental care begins before they have teeth! It is recommended for an expectant mother to maintain a healthy diet, exercise, refrain from smoking and drinking in order to prepare her infant with overall good health, including dental health. 

After the baby is born, the first dental visit should be at 6 months of age whether or  not teeth are present. When teeth are present, we provide dental health information to prepare parents and baby about care and treatment of the teeth.

Baby Bottle Tooth Syndrome (BBTS)

BBTS occurs when a child goes to bed with a bottle with any type of liquid, other than water, or while nursing. The dental disease can be prevented easily by following Dr. Stevenson's recommendations. Dr. Stevenson strongly recommends eliminating bedtime bottle that contain milk, juice or any type of liquid other than water. As well, all nursing should be discontinued at night. However, if BBTS does occur, Dr. Stevenson will provide dental treatment to prevent further progression of BBTS. He will prescribe a dental regiment that will begin the child onto a positive experience to improve the child's dental health.

Infant Teeth Cleaning

To give your infant an early start in good dental health, Dr. Stevenson recommends using a damp washcloth to wipe the infant's gums after each meal. Do not put your infant or young child to bed with a bottle of milk, juice, or any other type of liquid. Water is the only liquid for bedtime bottles. When the first tooth erupts, begin using a soft washcloth to clean the child's teeth (usually between 5-8 months of age). Dr. Stevenson and your pediatrician will work interactively to determine if and when your infant needs supplemental fluoride added to the diet. In addition, city water provides sufficient fluoride to keep teeth healthy.

 

Preventing Cavities and Dental Disease

Keeping the child's teeth and gums healthy are essential to overall good health. By promoting good dental health care early, preventing dental carries and disease should be the dental goal for each child, which can alleviate a variety of problems. Poor dental hygiene can result in poor nutrition, painful and dangerous infections, problems with speech development, social and peer challenges.

First Dental Visit

It recommended for the first dental visit to occur at six months of age. In preparation of the first dental visit, the child should be to exposed to the visit with conversation, visiting the office to view the waiting room and observe the atmosphere sounds, smells, and feel of the office before the actual dental appointment. Children who are accustomed to having their gums wiped and teeth brushed will have less anxiety when the actual dental appointment occurs.

Regular Dental Visits

Regular visits to have Dr. Stevenson examine the entire mouth is advisable every six months, or sooner if a dental event occurs. Proper care will establish healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime, as well, a positive dental experience through to adulthood.

Based on information of the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, students are absent from school more than 51 million school hours per year due to dental problems or related conditions of the disease. Dental pain can cause a student to perform less than favorable, withdraw from social school activities or suffer with family relationships. A child may not be aware of what is troubling them while experiencing dental pain. Therefore, visiting Dr. Stevenson every six months is a way to avoid these dental challenges and maintain positive oral health practices. 

Brushing 

Tooth brushing is one of the easist methods to avoid cavities. Brushing the teeth and gums is recommended at least twice each day, particularly before bedtime. When permanent teeth are present, flossing the teeth before bedtime should become part of the daily dental hygiene routine.

Manual or powered tooth brushes can both assist the child to be cavity-free. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the manual brush size should be age appropriate according to the manufacturer, along with soft, round-ended bristles. The same requirements for a powered toothbrush is recommended.

Parents should clean an infant's teeth and continue to brush a pre-schooler teeth, but allowing more participation by the child. A school-aged child should be supervised while brushing and flossing until age 8 or until the parent is satisfied the child is doing a good job with dental hygiene.

Sealants

Sealants may be recommended by Dr. Stevenson as a dental preventative measure. A sealant is a clear or shaded plastic material placed in the pits and grooves of a child tooth to prevent decay. The tooth is dried and conditioned, followed by painting on the sealant material. The sealant is allowed to dry with a special light that will harden the material. This type of treatment is recommended as a method for cavity prevention, especially for children with a history of tooth decay. Sealants are an effective method in preventing cavities and are also cost-effective---they cost less than half of what one filling costs!

Accidents and Trauma

As the child becomes more active, trauma to the teeth may occur. Lost or damaged teeth (chips, change in position) or gums should be treated as dental emergencies to avoid infection, tooth loss, or damage to the tooth, root, gums, or mouth. Even damage to primary (baby) teeth should be treated to prevent future problems to permanent teeth, gums and their development.

If your child loses a permanent tooth during a fall or accident, locate the tooth and avoid touching the root. Carefully rinse the tooth in running water (use stopper or strainer to avoid losing the tooth down the drain). Place the clean tooth back into the tooth socket in the child's mouth. Have the child hold the tooth in place with one or two fingers. If the child cannot hold the tooth in the socket, place the tooth either in saliva (under the tongue), cold milk or saline (such as contact lens solution). Take the child along with the tooth for immediate dental assistance.