You might think that caring for teeth starts when you actually have teeth, and that dental issues with babies don’t exist. Actually, the care an infant receives before his or her teeth erupt can determine the health of primary teeth. While we may devote more attention to oral care in our teens and adulthood, we may prevent problems from developing with dental care as early as infanthood. In this article, Rochester family dentist Dr. Gilly Calcagno explains why oral care for infants matters.
Preventing Cavities with Clean Gums
In as little as a few days after your child’s birth, you can begin thinking about oral health. Prevent baby bottle tooth decay, an affliction that affects infants and young children who routinely drink from a bottle or sippy cup while sleeping. Firstly, you can help stop cavities from forming by only filling nighttime bottles with water, rather than milk or juice. For infants, wiping their gums with gauze after feeding prevents plaque from forming on gums. If left unclean, teeth will erupt directly into plaque buildup: not the greatest beginning for your baby’s oral health.
Straightening Teeth Before Eruption
One image of childhood we often see is thumbsucking. While sucking on their thumbs doesn’t always mean trouble for infants and young children, it could start tooth development in literally the wrong direction. Depending on the frequency, duration, and intensity of thumbsucking, your child may experience problems during tooth eruption. Baby teeth may come in crooked, as can adult teeth.
If your child loses his or her teeth prematurely, the risk of growing crooked teeth increases. Reserve a space for teeth to grow into with a space maintainer from Dr. Calcagno when your child loses his or her teeth earlier than expected. Thumbsuckers could also misalign their bite if sucking for a long enough time, so monitor your child’s habit closely.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Rochester Dentist
Dr. Calcagno loves to work with parents to ensure their children’s good oral health. We keep a chart for each patient to track childhood dental milestones and prevent eruption or jaw problems from developing or worsening with age. Call (507) 281-3659 to schedule an appointment today at our 55902 dentist office. We serve patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, and surrounding areas.