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Bahar Rowhani, DDS
Childhood Dentistry
Dr. Ronald Hauptman, DDS and Bahar Rowhani, DDS

Childhood Dentistry

Having healthy teeth starts at a much earlier time than most people think, so here are some tips that can help you help your child have strong, well-developed and healthy teeth.

First of all, it is critical for an expectant mother to eat a healthy and balanced diet for the proper development of the unborn child. Teeth begin to form in the second month of pregnancy and to harden between the third and sixth months of pregnancy. Adequate amounts of vitamins A, C and D, protein, calcium and phosphorous help develop healthy teeth. A mother's tooth decay- causing bacteria can be transmitted to her child, so it is important for maternal teeth to be free of decay before the birth.

When your infant's teeth begin to erupt, typically at about six months of age, it is important to clean them regularly. After every feeding, wipe the baby's gums and teeth with a clean, wet gauze pad or a washcloth. This removes plaque and residual food that can cause tooth decay. It is recommended to have your child's first dental visit within six months after the first tooth erupts but no later than their first birthday.

Frequent and prolonged exposure of a baby's teeth to liquids containing sugar, like sweetened water, fruit juice, milk and formula can cause early childhood cavities, also known as baby bottle tooth decay. This occurs if you allow a child to fall asleep with a bottle during a nap or at nighttime.

Never dip a pacifier in sugar or honey before giving it to your child. To reduce the chances of tooth decay, children should be encouraged to drink from a cup by their first birthday.

Encourage healthy eating habits. This would include a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Almost all foods have some type of sugar so it cannot be completely eliminated from your diet; therefore plan carefully for a balanced, nutritious diet for you and your kids. Drink a lot of water. Avoid sticky foods. Limit sweets to mealtimes. Frequent snacking can increase the risk of tooth decay. If your child chews gum, choose sugarless gum.

Keeping your baby's teeth healthy is important for chewing, speaking and appearance. Brush and floss your child's teeth until he or she has developed the necessary skills.

Professional dental services, such as regular cleanings, fluoride treatments and the application of sealants can prevent tooth decay.

Set a good example for your child by cleaning your teeth everyday and visiting the dentist regularly.

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