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                                                        DR. DAN PETERSON

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Newborn Care Feeding Your Child
A Healthy Mouth Involves SIDS and Pacifiers
Dentist Help  

Good oral health should begin at birth and last a lifetime!

Every child needs to see their family dentist by the age of one

As many as 20 percent of children have cavities by the age of 3, and
those cavities might be avoided with early checkups

New recommendation by American Academy of Pediatrics and Academy of General Dentistry: Infants who are at high risk for tooth decay should see their family dentist between 6-12 months.***

Every child needs to see their dentist by the age of one!

     Parents think of their newborn as having no teeth.  But the 20 primary teeth that will erupt in the next 21/2 years are already present at birth in their jawbone!

     At birth the crowns of their teeth are almost complete and the chewing surfaces of the permanent molars have begun to form!

Primary teeth are just as important as permanent teeth for: chewing, speaking and appearance!

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     A healthy mouth for your baby involves:

  1. Fluoride to protect their teeth.  If fluoride is not in your drinking water than ask for vitamin drops with fluoride.

Retract the check so you can see better where you are brushing
To brush their teeth retract the tongue and check for good

  2.  Check and clean their baby teeth:


To clean their teeth place them in a comfortable position that will allow you to easily access their mouth

Sit on a sofa with your child's head in your lap


Lay them on the floor or on a dressing table


Be sure you can see into their mouth easily


Clean their mouth soon after birth with a wet soft cloth


As soon as a tooth appears clean it with a soft cloth, gauze pad or baby toothbrush to remove plaque.


Clean their teeth at least once a day with water and a soft toothbrush


Always clean them before they go to bed


Ask your dentist the age he recommends that you child can begin using toothpaste (ADA recommends using it after the age of two)

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Click here to learn more about soft baby toothbrush

Click the picture to learn more about Infa-dent.
Finger toothbrush and gum stimulator

  3.  Feed them healthy food. Diets that contain sugary foods, soft drinks, and fruit juices are most likely to promote cavities. Select foods from the food groups of fruits, vegetables, meat, grains and/or dairy.  Try to limit between meal snacks.  When you do snack try  choosing foods low in sugar like cheese, nuts or vegetables. Remember the more often your child snacks on food containing sugar and starches the greater the chance for tooth decay.

   4.  Never let your baby go to sleep with a bottle of anything except water. Never dip a pacifier in sugar or honey. Learn more on how to prevent: baby bottle tooth decay.

   5. Take your baby to the dentist by age one.  Schedule appointments early in the day, but avoid naptime

   6.  Check your child's teeth regularly for any changes.  If you see white or stained areas on their teeth, take them to a dentist.  When bringing the child to the dentist for the first time, it's okay to bring a comfort item such as a blanket or favorite toy. Make the experience positive for the child and try not to instill your own fears into the child

  7.  Avoid chewable vitamins that list sugar as the first ingredient

  8.  Change your child's toothbrush every two months and after the child has been sick.

  9.  If a child is sick, toothpaste should be placed on the brush via a cotton swab or a clean finger to avoid contaminating the toothpaste tube

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Amoxicillin and tooth enamel defects

Dental fluorosis, a result of exposure to excessive fluoride during enamel formation,  is one of the most common defects seen in permanent teeth.  The clinical signs range from barely noticeable white flecks, to pits and brown stains.  Amoxicillin is one of the most common antibiotics used among pediatric patients, mainly for treatment of otitis media---infection  of the middle ear.   A recent study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine linked the use of amoxicillin with the presence of fluorosis in permanent teeth. 

The use of amoxicillin during early infancy showed a strong correlation with fluorosis defects on the permanent teeth that come in earliest---the six year molars and the two front teeth.  The longer a child used the amoxicillin , the greater the risk that dental fluorosis would develop.

Amoxicillin use from three to six months doubled the risk of dental fluorosis. Doctors have more choices in the treatment of pediatric ear infections. If you have an infant will certainly want to discuss this issue with your child’s pediatrician.

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SIDS and Pacifiers

Babies should be offered pacifiers at bedtime, and they should sleep in their parents’ room — but not in their beds — in order to lessen the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

Binkys for the first year is the academy’s new recommendations  based on new research, including studies that have suggested that sucking pacifiers might help keep vulnerable infants from slumbering too deeply to rouse

Dr. Stephen Sheldon, director of the sleep medicine center at Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital, said pacifiers also enhance babies’ swallowing and are an age-appropriate habit.

While pacifier use can increase the risk of ear infections, these infections are less common during the first year of life — when the SIDS risk is highest — than later on, the academy said.

The policy recommends pacifier use throughout the first year but not beyond.

Pacifier use in older children may increase risks for teeth misalignment, but using them in infancy is not a problem, said American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

SIDS researcher at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, 10/05

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Moniter your childrens use of toothpaste.

because children under the age of 5 or 6 lack the physical skills 
to really do a good job of brushing and flossing on their own.

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Dentists Can Help You to Brush Up on Baby Care
 One in five American children is at  risk of serious tooth decay.

    As many as 20 percent of children have cavities by the age of 3, and
those cavities might be avoided with early checkups.  Children are to see their dentist by the age of 1 but many parents do not bring children in for their first checkup until age 2 or even 3. This delay means dentists miss a chance to educate parents on caring for their young children's teeth. And parental education is critical, because children under the age of 5 or 6 lack the physical skills to really do a good job of brushing and flossing on their own.

      Children do develop decay, and some of it is often rampant decay. If this decay is detected at an earlier age it would be far less difficult for the children and the parents.  Extensive decay may require a root canal and caps on baby teeth at a surgery cost of around $5,000.

      When children wake at night and are breast feed or bottle feed and than put back to bed without brushing their teeth, this occurrence leaves milk on the teeth overnight which invites the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay.  Cleaning their mouths is important to prevent decay and to help them get use to having someone in their mouth. Since babies can't spit, use infant tooth and gum cleanser without fluoride and brush from the gumline, not just the tips of the teeth. Flossing should start by age 4 -- or sooner if the teeth have grown close enough to eliminate the spaces between them. 

      Parents if your child doesn't want you to brush his teeth remember that just because he doesn't like it, doesn't mean you are off the hook. There's a lot of things children don't like!, but you have to take tooth and dental care seriously.

John Reinan HealthScoutNews Reporter 2/02


***AGD Impact 11/03.
ADA and AGD.

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February 06, 2008

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PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
This site is privately and personally sponsored, funded and supported by Dr. Peterson.  We have no outside funding.
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