Mobile Pediatric Dentistry

Airport Blvd Office: 9751 Airport Blvd, Mobile

When Should Kids See Us?
By Age One!

When Should Kids See Us? By Age One!

Early Infant Oral Care Dentist in Mobile, AL

Perinatal & Infant Oral Health

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), all pregnant women should continue their routine dental checkups throughout their pregnancy. Research shows mothers with poor oral health are more likely to pass bacteria to their children, leading to cavities. Periodontal disease in pregnant women can also lead to preterm birth and low birth weight.

To avoid the spread of bacteria to your infant, follow these guidelines:

  • Visit your dentist regularly
  • Brush and floss your teeth daily
  • Use fluoridated toothpaste
  • Consume more natural fiber and less sugary foods
  • Drink lots of water
Pregnant woman and child - Mobile Pediatric Dentistry

Your Child's First Dental Visit-Establishing A "Dental Home"

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend parents establish their child’s dental home before their child turns one or around the time their first tooth erupts. 

Having a dental home increases the likelihood that your child will receive the best possible preventative and routine oral care. This will also help prevent dental emergencies down the line.

Going to the dentist should be positive, and creating a memorable experience begins at home. Start by discussing the upcoming visit with your child to ease their mind. Make sure to let them know the dentist and staff will explain each procedure and answer your child’s questions.

When discussing the dentist with your child, avoid using phrases that could evoke negative feelings, such as “hurt,” “pull,” “needle,” “drill” or “shot.” Instead, our dental team uses words that have similar meanings, but are positive and won’t frighten your child.

Top 12 oral health tips for babies and toddlers

1. Breastfeeding is best for babies

  • Your baby’s main food in the first 6 months of life is breastmilk or infant formula.
  • Once your baby has finished feeding remove the baby from the breast or bottle.
  • For support and advice about breastfeeding speak with your maternal and child health nurse.

2. Don’t put baby to sleep with a bottle

  • When babies fall asleep with a bottle some milk stays in the mouth and on the teeth. This can cause tooth decay.
  • Once your baby has finished feeding remove the baby from the breast or bottle.
  • If your child has a night time feed remember to:
    • Always take them out of their cot to feed them.
    • Always hold them when feeding them with a bottle.
  • Avoid leaving a baby to feed from a bottle without supervision.
  • They may fall asleep with the bottle still in their mouth, increasing the risk of choking,ear infection and tooth decay.

3. From 6 months of age children can start to drink from a cup

  • Between 6 and 12 months your baby can move from drinking from a bottle to a cup.
  • Toddlers (1–3 years olds) should only drink from a cup.
  • Remember that holding and drinking from a cup is a new skill that your baby needs to learn.

4. Water is the best drink for toddlers

  • Water should be the main drink and toddlers should drink tap water throughout the day. In addition to this, plain cow’s milk is a healthy drink choice for children over 12 months.
  • Most of our tap water supply has fluoride in it. Fluoride protects teeth from decay.
  • Remember that shop bought bottled water usually does not have fluoride in it.

5. Plain milk is a healthy drink choice

  • Babies under 12 months should be drinking breastmilk or infant formula.
  • Milk is a good source of calcium which makes teeth strong and healthy.
  • Children over 12 months can drink plain full fat cow’s milk.
  • After 2 years of age, low fat milk is suitable.
  • Remember that flavored milks can have added sugar in them and this can cause tooth decay.

6. Babies and toddlers don't need fruit juice or sweet drinks

  • Fruit juice and sweet drinks can cause tooth decay. Apple and white grape juice or bad for your teeth.
  • Fruit juice and fruit drinks are not necessary or recommended for children under 12 months.
  • Fruit juice with ‘no added sugar’ contains natural sugar which can also cause tooth decay.
  • Sweet drinks include: soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks, tea drinks, fruit drinks and energy drinks.
  • Diet soft drinks contain acids which can also damage teeth.

7. Healthy meals and snacks are important for healthy teeth

  • Avoid any snack that sticks to the teeth. Raisins, gummy vitamins and goldfish crackers can stick to the teeth and lead to cavities. Fruits and vegetables are the best snacks for your child’s teeth. 
  • Babies do not have a preference for sweetness and sweet foods and drinks. This is something that they get used to when they have sweet foods and drinks regularly. You are the parent and it’s up to you not to buy such snacks.
  • From 12 months of age children should be enjoying a wide variety of healthy foods similar to the rest of the family.
  • Children learn about eating food from watching their parents and other family members.
  • Many common foods and snacks have sugar in them. Eating foods with high levels of sugar causes tooth decay.

8. Start cleaning baby’s teeth when they appear

  • Cleaning and brushing teeth removes plaque (the build-up on teeth) that causes tooth decay.
  • You can start cleaning your baby’s teeth by wiping with a soft cloth or brushing with a small soft toothbrush and water.
  • When the teeth erupt you are safe to use Fluoride tooth paste when brushing your infants teeth. An amount equivalent to the size of a grain of rice until 3 years old.
  • Clean all surfaces of the teeth and gums twice a day (after breakfast and before bed). The last thing in your mouth before you go to bed is a toothbrush.
  • Children will need an adult to help them brush their teeth until they can write their name in cursive.

9. Children should have an oral health assessment by 1 year of age

  • The first oral health assessment can be provided by a Dentist, specifically a pediatric specialist.
  • Having regular check-ups can help to spot problems early. Early stages of tooth decay can be treated.

10. Oral health is important for the whole family

  • Babies are not born with the bacteria that causes tooth decay. Parents and care givers  can pass on this bacteria to babies. To help prevent this, families can do these things:
    • everyone brushes their teeth twice a day with their own toothbrush
    • everyone (including pregnant women) has a regular dental check-up and any tooth decay treated.
    • try to avoid putting anything in your baby’s mouth if it has been in your mouth (for example sharing spoons and ‘cleaning’ dummies by putting them in your mouth).

11. Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (Early Childhood Caries)

One of the easiest ways for your child to develop early childhood carries is through “baby bottle tooth decay,” caused by the continuous exposure of your child’s teeth to sugary drinks. These liquids could be formula, breast milk, or fruit juice. While the upper front teeth are most commonly exposed, baby bottle tooth decay can affect any of your child’s teeth.

White spots on the tooth surface or gum line as well as tooth sensitivity are signs of early baby bottle tooth decay. However, a more severe case may experience:

  • Bleeding or swollen gums
  • Black or brown spots on tooth surface
  • Fever
  • Bad breath

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, contact our office immediately to prevents any further damage occurring to your child’s teeth.

Baby - Early infant care - Mobile Pediatric Dentistry

Baby bottle tooth decay is easy to prevent. Make sure to only send your child to bed with water, and limit the amount of sugary drinks and food they consume. After each meal, clean your child’s baby gums, and gently brush your child’s first tooth morning and night.

12. Sippy Cups

Sippy cups are only meant to be a training tool for children under one year of age transitioning from a baby bottle to a cup. If your child is consuming sugary drinks throughout the day from a sippy cup (such as milk or fruit juice), their teeth become soaked in sugar, causing cavity-forming bacteria. The best way for your child to use a sippy cup is by only filling it with water throughout the day. However, it’s acceptable for your child to consume milk or fruit juice at mealtimes.