Baby's First Exam

How can I prepare for my baby’s first exam?

As a Groovy mom, you know that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that you should take your child to the dentist when the first tooth erupts or by your child’s first birthday, whichever comes first.

But new environments, especially a dentist office, can be frightening for little ones. At Groovy Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Forrester can perform a Knee to Knee exam for groovy babies to help put them at ease during their first dentist visits. Here’s how you can prepare yourself and your child before your first exam!

Practice Holding Your Child

During a knee to knee exam, Dr. Forrester will have you hold your child in your lap with their head in Dr. Forrester’s lap. Before the appointment, practice holding your child in this position so he or she knows what to expect when the time comes.

Clean Your Child’s Mouth at Home

Throughout the exam, Dr. Forrester will examine your baby’s mouth, gums, and tooth or teeth with his hands. Before your visit, wipe out your child’s gums and teeth with a clean wash cloth or infant toothbrush to practice. This will help protect baby teeth from cavities early on and will help your child be more comfortable during the exam.

Expect Fussing

It’s normal for children to fuss and feel uneasy with a stranger examining their mouths. Even groovy babies can be unpredictable, and the most prepared may get upset and cry. If you show that you’re stressed when your child cries during the exam, it can make it harder to pacify the child. To help, relax and know that as a pediatric dentist, Dr. Forrester sees crying children every day and has many techniques to help calm your child down. The most important thing is that we work together to stay calm and create a positive experience!

Is nursing harmful to my baby's teeth?

Is nursing harmful to my baby’s teeth?

Nursing your baby to sleep or allowing your baby to sleep with a bottle can harm teeth. During sleep, the saliva production slows, which allows sugars to cover the teeth. This can cause more bacteria in the mouth and higher acid levels, which can lead to tooth decay.

Clean your baby’s teeth using water and a soft brush or washcloth before sleep and after night feedings. Depending on your child’s risk factors for cavities, some children need a very small amount of fluoridated toothpaste, but Dr. Forrester will make that decision at the time of your visit. If your baby refuses to sleep without a bottle, plain water is best.

Primary teeth fall out anyway, why do they matter?

Primary teeth fall out anyway, so why do they matter?

Primary teeth are critical to helping your child learn to eat and speak, as well as aid in the development of the face. Each tooth maintains space on the dental arch, which guides the eruption of permanent teeth. Properly care for your child’s baby teeth with daily hygiene practices to eliminate toothaches, gum disease, and serious developmental and health problems.

When should my baby’s teeth come in?

Most often, you should see your baby’s first tooth between 5 – 8 months. The bottom-center front teeth (central incisors) typically erupt first.

However, your baby’s primary teeth already formed under the gums before they were born, and it is possible for a baby to be born with teeth already in (called natal teeth.)

Why is flouride good for teeth? Flouride

Why is Flouride Good for Teeth?

Fluoride helps to strengthen tooth enamel, so it’s important to get enough each day. You can find fluoride in your toothpaste, fluoridated drinking water, and even foods produced with fluoridated water, including juice and canned foods.

Dental Caries

What is Dental Caries?

Dental caries is an infectious disease that causes tooth decay or cavities. Untreated caries can cause severe pain, local or systemic infections, and even tooth loss.

Babies can catch dental caries from their parents, so it’s important for you to practice dental hygiene to prevent problems in your children’s teeth.

Should I be worried about teething?

Should I be worried about teething?

Statistically, most babies make it through the teething stage easily. However, some children can experience earaches, gastro-esophageal reflux, diarrhea, a low-grade fever, different sleep patterns, changes in eating habits, excessive drooling, and fussiness.

To help your baby feel comfortable, allow your child to chew on something cold. You can also use over-the-counter children’s painkillers to alleviate some pain. Note: Do NOT apply Aspirin directly to the gums, as this burns the tissue. Also, avoid giving Aspirin as this can cause a problem called Reye’s Syndrome. Finally, Orajel has been linked to blood complications, such as methemoglobinemia, so we recommend avoiding these products as well.

When should I begin taking my child to the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that you take your child to the dentist when the first tooth erupts or by their first birthday (whichever comes first).

Why should I start taking my child to the dentist so early? Pediatric Dentistry

Why do I need to take my child to the dentist so early?

The earlier a professional can evaluate the status of your child’s dental health, the better. Early cleaning and treatment helps reduce the amount of bacteria and plaque in your child’s mouth, which can cause complications and dental caries later.

We can teach you how to clean your baby’s teeth, decide what foods to avoid, and understand the effects of thumb sucking and pacifier use. Parent education at these early stages has been proven to lower the chances of dental caries and other oral complications.