Dr. Day teaches parents the importance of primary (baby) teeth regarding the overall health of young children. She recommends taking your child to the dentist by age one or when the first baby tooth appears and understands how vital that first dental visit is for the whole family. It is crucial to Dr. Day and the entire team at Coddington Dental to make your child feel comfortable. It’s also important to Dr. Day and her team to educate parents and guardians on how to care for your child’s teeth effectively .
Dr. Jodi Day welcomes parents and children to visit her office before the first dental appointment. Thus, ensuring your child’s experience will be friendly and comfortable and to prepare your child for what to expect on the first visit.
What are baby teeth important?
Your child’s primary teeth are at risk for cavities as soon as they first appear, which is often as early as six months. Cavities in infants and toddlers are referred to as milk cavities or baby bottle tooth decay. Baby teeth have a thinner layer of enamel than adult teeth which makes them more susceptible to cavities. If a baby tooth is lost to a cavity before an adult tooth is ready to replace it, the remaining teeth may shift or tip and not leave enough room for the adult tooth to come in. Also, if cavities progress they can become uncomfortable, causing discomfort for your child. In some cases, cavities can also lead to health-threatening infections if they are not properly treated. The good news is cavities are preventable.
To Prevent Cavities, Our Lincoln Family Dentist Recommends:
- Maintain your own great at-home dental habits. Research shows that bacteria from your mouth can pass to your children leading to a weakened immune system and putting them at higher risk for becoming ill. Taking care of your oral health and treating Periodontal disease and cavities is critical. The bacteria that cause cavities and Periodontal disease are most often transmitted from parents to children by 15 months of age. Parents are the most important role models for maintaining good oral health. Even while expecting, it is highly recommended to visit the dentist for your regular checkups.
- Begin brushing infant teeth with a washcloth starting with their very first tooth. Once the child is 1-3 years old, use a small soft-bristled toothbrush with a smear of toothpaste. Once your child can spit after brushing, usually around four years, you can begin to use a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
- Teach your toddler to drink from a cup by 12-15 months and avoid putting infants and toddlers to bed with a bottle of juice or milk once those first baby teeth appear. Drinking from a cup makes it less likely for milk or juice to pool around the teeth, especially at night.
- Limit sticky and sugary snacks such as fruit snacks, gummies, and fruit roll ups to confined periods of time or near meal times. These types of snacks can become especially problematic if your child consumes them often.
- If possible, avoid juices and sports drinks like Gatorade. If consumed, do so near meal time or finish within 20 minutes and follow up with water. If children are playing on sports teams, have them drink water to stay hydrated.
- Give children the independence to brush and floss their teeth, but always be sure to “check” on them afterward. Use this as an opportunity to re-brush, re-floss, and praise them for their hard work. Children can have lots of enthusiasm for brushing, but often don’t master the dexterity and maturity to brush on their own until around age 8 and floss on their own until age 10-12. Without extra guidance, children often miss brushing and flossing tricky areas, especially near their back teeth.
- Establish excellent dental habits with visits to a family dentist for regular 6-month checkups. A family dentist can explain procedures such as applying a numbing agent or removing a cavity in words a child can understand. Dr. Jodi Day likes to use visual aids to help children understand procedures and to show them how they can take excellent care of their teeth.
A family dentist, such as Dr. Day, can refer you to a pediatric dentist should your child’s needs extend beyond the general dentist’s office. Dr. Day is comfortable expanding the circle of care for a young child with more complex dental needs. She welcomes parents and caregivers who are searching for a kind and gentle dental experience for their children.
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM)
Dr. Jodi Day would like to take this time to teach children about good dental habits that would contribute to a lifetime of healthy smiles.
This family dentist truly believes that attitudes and habits established at an early age are critical in maintaining good oral health throughout life. By participating in NCDHM, the dental team, parents, teachers, and others can help keep children’s smiles beautiful now and for years to come. This family dentist and Nebraska Family Dentistry have prepared an exciting presentation to help school-aged children ( K to 5th grades) to learn about healthy dental habits. This presentation is interactive and gets a child’s attention. Most importantly, it inspires children to take good care of their teeth and keep their teeth for a lifetime.
Please let us know if you’d like our dental professionals to speak to your school during February. We would be happy to visit your school and to bring a fun presentation and handouts geared towards elementary-age children. Please contact our community educators if you’d like to arrange a school visit at 402-304-3549 or email at [email protected]
All teachers and educators are welcome to use this dental presentation and a dental presentation handout at your school for any lessons related to dental health.
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Coddington Dental is a proud member of Nebraska Family Dentistry. We’re one of multiple NFD locations, some of which are even open on weeknights and weekends for your convenience.
Each NFD team member is trained to go above and beyond to keep our patients calm and comfortable, so you can expect the same exceptional care from all of our sister locations.