ORAL HEALTH : Dental health and infants

Dental decay is the most prevalent chronic condition affecting children. It’s five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever. 

This is why it’s important to set a dental hygiene routine with your child from an early age. 

Children should be seen by a dentist before their first birthday or six months after the eruption of the first tooth. 


“The hope is we’re not going to do anything other than educate moms and dads about the importance of pediatric dental health,” explains Dr. Hans Reinemer, director of the pediatric dental residency program and chief of dental staff at Primary Children’s Hospital. 

At that first appointment they’ll go over proper brushing and flossing techniques. They’ll also discuss nutrition with the parents because even at a young age, what you eat has an impact on dental health. “Don’t ever put a child to bed with a bottle of milk or juice,” says Dr. Reinemer. 

► Read also: What Is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay? 

“Putting a child to bed at night with a bottle can create devastating effects to the primary teeth.” If a child needs the pacifier effect of a bottle to go to sleep, Dr. Reinemer recommends using only water. For drinks and snacks throughout the day, limit the amount of sugary items to mealtime only. 

“It’s not what you’re eating, it’s how often you’re eating it,” says Dr. Reinemer. “So if you give these kids sugar containing drinks and snacks all-day long, then they’re cavity prone all-day long.” From an early age the most important thing is to add dental hygiene into your child’s routine. 

That includes daily brushing and regular check-ups at the dentist. Just like a child has a diaper changing, eating, and bedtime routine, dental hygiene should also have a routine. 

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