Monthly Archives: February 2012

Tips for Parents: Keep Your Child’s Smile Healthy

Quick Tips to Keep Your Child’s Smile Healthy!
  • Avoid giving your child sweetened liquids.
  • Brush your child’s teeth twice a day and floss once a day.
  • Make sure your child gets enough fluoride.
  • Start regular dental visits around 18-24 months of age.
  • Ask your dentist for advice on sealants and mouthguards.
  • Let your dentist know about your child’s health.
  • Set a good example for your child! 

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Tips for Parents: Your Child’s First Dental Visit

Your Child’s First Dental Visit
Many parents ask us when they should start taking their child to the dentist.  We recommend doing a “tiny tots” visit anywhere from age 1-2.  At the visit, you and your child will meet with one of our hygienists and one of our doctors.  These early childhood dental visits will allow us to monitor the teeth for signs of decay and monitor the progress and potential problems with emerging teeth.  We will also discuss proper brushing techniques and give tips for home care, as well as making sure your child receives the proper amount of fluoride.  We try to make the first visit a fun experience for your child!

Tips for Parents: Toothbrushing

Toothbrushing from Day One
Here at Hudsonville Dental, we encourage you to take care of your child’s teeth from day one.  Infant gums should be wiped with clean gauze after all feedings.  Once the first tooth has emerged, begin brushing your child’s teeth and gums with a soft bristled toothbrush and a little water.  Lots of new types of toothbrushes and safety brushes for infants and toddlers are available so experiment until you find the right one for you and your child.  When your child is able to hold the toothbrush and tries to brush themselves, supervise carefully and then brush again for them to make sure every surface has been brushed.  As they learn how to brush, begin using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and teach them to spit out the toothpaste and rinse well with water.  Toddlers, and even infants who are teething, may enjoy the soothing vibrations of an electric toothbrush.  Select one with a smaller head made for young children.  Many even include timers so the brush turns off automatically when brushing time is over.  Help your child
build healthy teeth and healthy habits! 

Tips for Parents: Pacifiers and Thumb Sucking

Pacifiers and Thumb Sucking:
Sucking is one of a baby’s natural reflexes and serves to help them learn about their world, feel secure, calm themselves and can help them fall asleep.  Most children will stop thumb sucking or using a pacifier between the ages of two and four.  Once permanent teeth begin to emerge, sucking on a thumb or pacifier can cause problems with growth and alignment so encourage your toddler to use another item such as a blanket or favorite stuffed animal to soothe themselves.   

Tips for Parents: Bottles and Sippy Cups

Limit Bottles and Sippy Cups to Mealtimes!

Your baby’s teeth are important from day one.  To protect your baby’s smile, avoid giving your baby or toddler unlimited access to bottles and sippy cups.  As harmless as it may seem, allowing your child to drink from a baby bottle for too long can expose them to baby bottle tooth decay.  Infants should finish their naptime or bedtime bottle before going to bed, as liquids can pool in the mouth when babies are allowed to fall asleep with a bottle.  Fruit juice, milk and formula all contain sugar and when teeth are exposed to these sugars for a long time, decay can begin.
Most children are ready to learn to drink from a cup by their first birthday.  While sippy cups are a useful tool in helping children transition to the cup, they should only be used temporarily.  “No spill” cups contain a valve that does not allow the child to sip, but instead they must suck on the cup like a baby bottle.  This can defeat the purpose as it prevents the child from learning to sip.  Toddlers should also not be allowed to carry the
training cup around, as there is a risk of injury to the mouth if the child falls while walking and drinking at the same time.  Once the child has learned how to sip, the switch
to a regular cup can be made. 

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Your Child’s Baby Teeth Are Important!

Your Child’s Baby Teeth Are Important!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and we want to make sure your child develops a happy, healthy smile!

It is just as important to take care of your child’s primary (baby) teeth as it is to take care of
the permanent teeth that follow.  

Primary teeth are important for proper chewing and digestion of food.  They also help
your child to learn to speak properly and have a good-looking smile.  Primary teeth serve
as space maintainers to save room your child’s permanent teeth.  When a baby tooth is
lost too early, other teeth may drift into the empty space left behind and cause problems
such as overcrowding and crooked teeth when adult teeth emerge.  

Decay in baby teeth can be just as painful to your child as decay in an adult tooth.  If a
child is suffering pain from decaying primary teeth, it may result in improper speech,
dietary problems or trouble concentrating in school.  Millions of valuable school hours
are lost each year to children due to tooth decay.

Your child can have a healthy mouth for a lifetime!

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