At McCulloch-Wilson Dental, we’re happy to make your youngest ones feel safe and comfortable in our practice. They grow quickly and absorb tons of information in those early years—we’d love to help make the information about their smile stick so they can take great care of it for years to come. Whether they’re teething, have a mouthful of baby teeth, or have already started making room for their permanent set, we want their dental experiences to be positive and for you to have one less thing to worry about!
If you’ve already come to know us as a patient or have read other pages on our site, you’ve probably picked up on how we refer to your mouth, smile, and overall health instead of just your teeth. Your teeth are of course necessary, and we want to keep them strong and healthy, but it’s hard to do that if your gums and jaws are struggling. This means that even when your baby’s teeth haven’t poked through and made themselves visible, hygiene and healthy soothing habits are important to practice.
Our first bit of advice is to softly massage your baby’s gums with a warm rag after feedings. This will help reduce acidity and bacteria, and can be comforting when they start to teethe. When their first tooth does poke through, introducing a soft-bristled, baby-sized toothbrush or finger brush with a grain-of-rice sized drop of fluoride-free toothpaste will help them get used to a habit they’ll develop themselves over time.
As more teeth arrive and begin to touch, you’ll want to use floss or soft-picks to remove plaque and food debris from between them. Cavities can form in these tight spaces and preventing the need for fillings means more uninterrupted play and learning time for them!
When your child is old enough to spit, adding fluoride toothpaste is a good measure for the remineralization of their enamel. Whether they’re already brushing themselves or you’re still assisting, be sure it takes place at least half an hour before eating, or half an hour after to avoid acid erosion.
Brushing together morning and night can be a bonding exercise that also allows you to supervise their technique. You can brush along to a favorite song or even use a timer app, because you want to be sure you’re both brushing for at least two minutes. Don’t forget to bring your bundle of joy in to see us for a checkup, too!
Without learning about the role baby (or deciduous) teeth play in your child’s development and overall wellness, you might be led to believe they’re not as important as their permanent teeth. However, this misconception has the potential to be quite harmful. Without developing healthy habits from the beginning, they may be more prone to neglecting their oral hygiene later, and when that’s the case, tooth decay and gum disease are a stronger likelihood, with both leading to premature tooth loss.
Premature tooth loss in children can cause their adult teeth to shift in the jaw, creating misalignment before the teeth erupt through the gum. This goes without mentioning that losing teeth to cavities or gum disease can be very physically and emotionally painful. Oral infections can prevent a child from learning in school and make speech and eating difficult or painful. We want to help you and your child avoid these circumstances, and we’re equipped to do just that!
We welcome children of all ages to our practice and are honored to be chosen for your family’s dental needs. We want you to know we’ll provide the same kind of thorough, gentle care we’d want our family to receive—you’re our dental family, after all!
We recommend bringing your child in around their first birthday to familiarize themselves with the environment and our faces, and we promise we’ll make their visit as comfortable and fun as possible, because learning is so much easier when it’s fun. During their first examination, we’ll be able to answer questions you might have about their development and let you know if anything seems abnormal.
Sleep is a physiological drive that is an essential component of healthy child development. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in children is more common than many people realize—it is estimated to affect between 1-10% of American kids. Causes can include very large tonsils and adenoids, facial structure that narrows the airway, or certain medical conditions that affect the muscles, such as cerebral palsy. If you become concerned about negative changes in your child’s behavior, the result could be fatigue from OSA or sleep-disordered breathing.