Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

4 Questions To Help You Protect Your Small Child's Teeth

Joe Lawrence

The arrival of your first child has brought you incalculable joy while also opening up a great many new questions regarding that child's health and wellness. It's never too early to start thinking about dental health, even if your baby still awaits that first tooth. Here are the answers to four key questions that can help you ensure a bright dental future for your child.

1. When Should My Child Have His First Dental Exam?

A newborn baby has nothing but gums—and those first teeth can easily take months to appear. So, when you should start thinking about that first pediatric dental checkup? Your pediatric dentistry center will almost certainly follow the recommendations of the American Dental Association in this regard. You can wait until the first baby tooth makes its appearance to schedule an exam, but make sure that the exam occurs within 6 months of that tooth's debut, or by your child's first birthday, whichever comes first.

2. How Can I Ease (or Prevent) Dental Phobia in My Child?

Considering how many adults have fear of the dentist, it's little wonder that small children might find their first few visits to a dentist's office a frightening affair. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to reduce those anxieties. Your pediatric dentist will have plenty of experience and expertise in putting children's fears to rest, including the safe use of gentle sedation such as nitrous oxide. The more regularly your child sees the dentist, the easier it is to create a positive rapport and establish the dental visit as a routine occurrence. You may even opt to have your own exam at the same time so that your child can see that there is nothing to worry about.

3. How Can I Help Keep My Child's Teeth Healthy?

You can start brushing your child's teeth with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste from the first appearance of that first tooth. As more teeth grow in, don't be afraid to floss them gently. Never let your baby fall asleep with milk or juice still on his tooth enamel, since this can cause a form of deterioration called bottle mouth. Last, but not least, feed your child tooth-healthy foods such as milk and cheese, avoiding candies or sugary drinks as much as possible.

4. What Techniques Can I Use to Get My Child to Brush and Floss?

Teaching your child to brush and floss properly can actually be a lot of fun for both of you. Try making a game out of it by challenging your child to brush or floss for a certain length of time, for example, awarding stickers or other prizes for a job well done. Eventually, your child will start practicing these dental routines on a regular basis without even thinking about it—laying the groundwork for a lifetime of good dental hygiene.

Talk to your pediatric dentist about these and any other questions you might want to have answered. The two of you can work together to help your child—and your future children—experience optimal dental wellness! 


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Caring for an Elderly Parent With Special Dental Needs

Caring for an elderly parent tends to be tough enough without the added stress of dealing with dental implants or dentures. But, the prospect is not the end of the world—there are many things you can do to ensure that your parent's dental health is not compromised without having to spend a lot of personal time doing the care yourself. Between working with the right dentist, hiring a service provider for part time work, and giving your parent the tools he or she needs to care for his or her own dental health at home, you'll find that dental health for your loved one isn't so tough or time consuming after all. Hopefully you are able to get the support and information you need right here.