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We all want what’s best for our children. While some of the answers are instinctual, others require some outside help. And that means doing some research to uncover the ideal ways to support your kids. Dental care is no different. While it can feel a little overwhelming when faced with the endless opinions that fill the Internet, there are ways to streamline your decision-making process. If you’re unsure about any aspect of tooth development, pediatric dental care, or proper nutrition, read on for a basic guide to building kids’ healthy teeth.
Tooth Development Begins During Pregnancy
There’s a newfound link between Vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women and cavities in their babies’ future teeth. We know that you want to give your growing child all that he or she needs. But are you aware of what developing teeth need to form properly? There are certain vitamins and minerals that you will want to focus on, in order to boost both dental and whole body health. These include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
In addition to thinking about baby’s mouth, pregnant moms also need to tend to their own oral health. Fluctuating hormone levels during pregnancy make it more likely for your gums to become inflamed. Once inflamed, gingivitis is better able to take hold. There are tenuous links between gum disease during pregnancy and early delivery, as well as other complications. Check with Dr. Baudean to see how often you should visit our office during your own pregnancy. He may recommend more frequent checkups to ensure your gums aren’t becoming inflamed or infected. Early, preventive action is the best plan.
Pediatric Oral Health During the Early Years
Tooth formation may begin in the womb, but it kicks into full gear after the child is born. During tooth development, your kids must receive the proper nutrients in order to grow strong, healthy teeth. Both calcium and fluoride are necessary for healthy development. Make sure that your kids get enough dairy (through milk, cheese, and unsweetened yogurt), and drink tap water or receive a different form of fluoride. If you’re worried about giving your kids the right amount of fluoride, just ask us about the proper dosage. Fluoride supplements should be administered with care.
Topical fluoride is also recommended for children as soon as they’re able to spit out toothpaste, rather than automatically swallowing it (this changes somewhere between 2-6 years old).
Your child should have his or her first dental appointment around the time they turn one. We know that this can seem a little early, but it’s the only way to ensure proper tooth development and disease prevention. By visiting early and at your side, your child will grow to see dental care as a positive thing.
Another way to encourage healthy dental attitudes is to prevent cavities. The longer your kids can go without having to have cavities filled, the more comfortable they will be in the office. When grocery shopping for your family, make choices that will support healthy teeth. Talk to your kids about what they stand to gain from nutrient-rich, low-sugar foods. Discuss the effects of bacteria on teeth, and how oral hygiene cleans them. By providing healthy snacks and meals and eschewing sugary alternatives, you’ll help your children appreciate the taste of fruit, vegetables, dairy, and lean proteins. This shapes their lifelong food preferences.
Finding a Kids Dentist in Marrero
If you’re looking for personalized guidance or a pediatric exam, we’re here to help! Contact our office to schedule or pick up some tips.