1 Year Old Baby How Much Fever Is Too Much Infant Dental Care

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Infant Dental Care

How many teeth does a child have? Count them… 8? 16? 20? Would you believe 52? This sounds amazing, but it’s true. At birth, all 20 baby (main) teeth and several adult (permanent) teeth are forming. At the age of 3, almost all of the 32 permanent teeth are in good condition. What’s even more amazing is that there are several steps you can take now that your child is a baby that will determine their oral health well into adulthood.

TEETH

The two lower front teeth are usually the first to come in around 6-10 months of age. Teething continues until about 2 1/2 years of age, when the second molars erupt. During teething, a child’s gums may appear slightly red and swollen, and they may experience excessive drooling and twitching. Other signs of teething can include: loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping and transient low-grade fever. If your baby has a high or prolonged fever, rash, or vomiting, these are signs that something else may be wrong and you should see your pediatrician.

To make teething easier, you can give your child a cool teething ring or a frozen washcloth to chew on. The cold helps the numb gums and chewing helps the new teeth cut through. Care should be taken not to let your child chew on objects that can break down and cause a choking hazard. Infant Tylenol and gum numbing preparations should be used sparingly and only as a last resort.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CANES

Although it is true that the primary teeth are eventually replaced, they play a very important role. Like your permanent teeth, your child’s primary teeth are essential: proper chewing and eating, speech development and an attractive appearance. In addition, primary teeth play an important role in the development of jaw bones and muscles and help guide permanent teeth into place. Second primary molars are usually only replaced between 12 and 14 years of age and usually have to last at least 10 years.

ORAL HYGIENE

Cleaning should start even before the first tooth erupts. After each feeding, you should gently clean your baby’s gums with a clean damp gauze or washcloth. This way you can check that everything looks normal and create a healthy oral environment for the first tooth to erupt. You can continue to clean the first few new first teeth with gauze or a washcloth. When your fingers are in danger, it’s time to switch to a soft, child-sized toothbrush. Brushing should be done at least twice a day, and most importantly, before going to bed.

TOOTHPASTE

Fluoride toothpaste is not meant to be swallowed and should not be used with young children until they can reliably rinse and spit. If children get the right kind of fluoride supplement, they don’t need the extra fluoride from toothpaste. A number of toothpastes specially designed for babies are now available in pharmacies and supermarkets. These baby toothpastes are fluoride-free, safe to swallow and less abrasive than regular children’s and adult toothpastes.

When your child can rinse and spit, fluoride toothpaste should be used. Parents of young children should be especially careful with “good-tasting” children’s toothpaste. Because of their pleasant taste, some children like to eat these toothpastes. This must absolutely be resisted. Parents should ensure that only a small pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste is used for each brushing.

FLUORINE ADDITIVES

Fluoride is one of our most effective tools against tooth decay. By strengthening the teeth, it helps to prevent cavities between the teeth, where the toothbrush cannot reach. Fluoride can also alter small microscopic cavities before they become large enough to require restoration. Because Suffolk and Nassau counties do not have fluoride in their water, most children living here should start taking fluoride supplements at six months of age. Your child’s pediatric dentist or pediatrician can advise you on the appropriate fluoride supplement for your child.

CARIES OF EARLY CHILDHOOD

One of the most mentally and physically devastating oral diseases is early childhood caries. It causes serious, rapid decay of a child’s teeth and can rob a child of an attractive smile. Often the four upper front teeth may need to be removed by age 2. The good news is that this disease is 100% preventable.

Early childhood caries most often occurs when a baby is allowed to fall asleep with a bottle of milk, formula, juice or sweetened water as a pacifier. During sleep, these fluids accumulate around the baby’s teeth for long periods of time. The naturally occurring bacteria (plaque) in the child’s mouth produce acids that attack the surface of the tooth. If not treated quickly, it can completely destroy primary teeth and cause inflammation and abscesses that can damage developing permanent teeth.

So what can you do? Prevention is easy. If your child needs a comforter between naps, bedtime, or regular feedings, give them a bottle filled only with chilled water. If they get enough nutrition during regular feedings, they don’t need milk or juice when they sleep. If your child already has a bedtime milk/juice bottle habit, changing the routine can be difficult. Be persistent, don’t give up. The few sleepless nights that may result are a worthwhile investment in your child’s future smile.

DRUGS

Many children’s medicines are sweet, sticky syrups. If they remain around the teeth, they can also lead to early childhood caries. Preventing problems: Clean your child’s mouth after each dose and avoid giving the medicine at bedtime when he may not swallow the entire dose.

PEAKALON SUCKING AND TEATS

The sucking reflex is very strong in a newborn. A sonogram often reveals the child’s thumb sucking while still in the womb. Thumb sucking and pacifier are normal for babies and toddlers. These habits are better than bedtime milk/juice bottle habits for convenience because they don’t cause tooth decay. If sucking habits are given up around 3 1/2 years of age, they cause very few orthodontic problems.

GOING TO THE PEDIATRIC DENTIST

Preventive dental care should be started “the younger the better”. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents schedule their baby’s first visit by 12 months of age. Early routine dental care ensures that any problems can be detected and treated early or even avoided altogether. Experience shows that children who have a “dental home” and who regularly participate in a preventive program have a much lower incidence of dental disease than those who have it sporadically. In addition, pleasant visits to the children’s dentist help the child to strengthen confidence and trust that will last a lifetime. Our office does not charge for “well baby” dental visits for children under 24 months of age. By starting preventive dental care at an early stage, you can ensure that your child’s 52 teeth are part of a healthy and attractive smile for a lifetime.

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