Dental Care for your Baby

When should my child first see a dentist?
“First visit by first birthday” sums it up. Your child should visit a pediatric dentist when the first tooth comes in, usually between 6 and 12 months of age. This visit will establish a dental home for your child. Early examination and preventive care will protect your child’s smile now and in the future.

Why so early? What dental problems could a baby have?
The most important reason is to begin a thorough prevention program. Den!.al problems can begin early. A big concern is Early Childhood Caries (formerly known as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries). Once a child’s diet includes anything besides breast-milk, erupted teeth are at risk for decay. The earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental problems. Children with healthy teeth chew food easily and smile with confidence. Start your child now on a lifetime of good dental habits.

How can I prevent tooth decay from nursing or using a bottle?
At-will breast-feeding should be avoided after the first primal)’ (baby) teeth begin to erupt and other sources of nutrition have been introduced. Children should not fall asleep with a bottle containing anything other than water. Drinking juice from a bottle should be avoided. Fruit juice should only be offered in a cup with meals or at snack time.

When should bottle-feeding be stopped?
Children should be weaned from the bottle al12-14 months of age.

Should I worry about thumb and finger sucking?
Thumb sucking is perfectly normal for infants; many Stop by age 2. Prolonged thumb sucking can create crooked teem or bite problems. If the habit continues beyond age 3, a professional evaluation is recommended Your pediatric dentist will be glad to suggest ways to address a prolonged thumb sucking habit.

When should I start cleaning my baby’s teeth?
The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Use a “smear” of toothpaste to brush the teeth of a child less than 2 years of age. For the 2-5 year old, dispense a “pea-size” amount of toothpaste and perform or assist your child’s tooth brushing. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively.

Any advice on teething?
From six months to age 3, your child may have tender gums when teeth erupt. Many children like a clean teething ring, cool spoon or cold wet washcloth. Some parents swear by a chilled ring; others simply rub the baby’s gums with a clean finger.

Content courtesy of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

“My children have both been dental patients of Dr. Cobb for several years now. When my daughter first started going to Dr. Cobb, she had been through a couple other dental experiences that were challenging and frightening for her. She was young, fearful and very apprehensive about the dentist. Unfortunately, she was in need of fairly significant dental work. When we found Dr. Cobb, we were pleased from the moment we entered his office. His office staff are all friendly and caring with exceptional customer service. Dr. Cobb was incredible in his approach with my very timid, fearful young child. He made her feel at ease and comfortable instantly. His kind and gentle approach was very reassuring to both my child and me, as a worried parent. She underwent a dental procedure which required general anethesia and it went very well. Dr. Cobb has always gone above and beyond to check in with us personally after even minor procedures. As my son began seeing Dr. Cobb, he has also had exceptional experiences each time he visits the office. We have also been very pleased with the phenomenal dental hygienists that have been involved with my children’s dental care. Overall, our impression of the clinic and Dr. Cobb is nothing less than AMAZING. Thank you for being dedicated, compassionate folks!!”