Children’s Pediatric Dentistry is part of our list of services available here at Affiliated Dentists in Madison.
We understand that, for most kids, the idea of a good time doesn’t include a trip to the dentist. Both of our Madison dentist offices are designed to give our young patients special attention and understanding, from our fun-filled play area to the modern treatment rooms.
Our pediatric dentists and staff are trained to make children’s dental experiences comfortable and fun. They take the time to educate both children and parents about proper home care techniques and explain procedures in terms they can understand.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry along with The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a child’s first dental visit be by 12 months of age. The goal of early dental visits is to help prevent cavities before they need to be treated. At Affiliated Dentists, we always emphasize and educate both children and parents about prevention, by using products such as fluoride, xylitol, MI paste, and dental sealants.
We enjoy our work and we think this approach helps children and adults alike enjoy their visits to see us.
Early Childhood Tooth Decay
What is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
Baby bottle tooth decay occurs when sweetened liquids or those with natural sugars (like milk, formula, and fruit juice) cling to an infant’s teeth for long periods of time. Bacteria in the mouth thrive on this sugar and produce acids that attack the teeth.
Children whose pacifiers are frequently dipped in sugar or syrup are amongst those at risk. Giving an infant a sugary drink at nap or nighttime is particularly harmful, as the flow of saliva decreases during sleep.
Although baby bottle tooth decay typically occurs in the upper front teeth, other teeth may also be affected.
If you think because baby teeth are temporary they’re not important, think again. Baby teeth are necessary for chewing, speaking, and smiling. They also serve as placeholders for the adult teeth. If baby bottle tooth decay is left untreated, pain and infection can result. Severely decayed teeth may need to be removed.
If teeth are infected or lost too early due to baby bottle tooth decay, your child may develop poor eating habits, speech problems, crooked teeth, and damaged adult teeth. In addition, the chances that adult teeth will end up being crooked increases dramatically.
How Can Baby Bottle Tooth Decay Be Prevented?
On top of regular cleaning and visits to our Madison pediatric dentists, there are many ways to prevent this in your infant:
- Wipe the baby’s gums with a clean gauze pad or washcloth after each feeding
- Begin brushing your child’s teeth, without toothpaste, when his or her first tooth comes in
- Clean and massage gums in areas without teeth
- Floss once all the baby teeth have come in
- Make sure your child is getting enough fluoride, which helps reduce cavities
- Schedule regular dental visits by your child’s first birthday
Make sure you’re not filling bottles with sugar water and soft drinks. Bottles are for milk, water and formula. Juice’s, mixed half and half with water to avoid empty calories, are a smart way to interest your child in a “sippy cup.” Soft drinks are not recommended for children, as they have no nutritional value. Don’t allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle containing anything but water. Never give your child a pacifier dipped in anything sweet and work to decrease your child’s sugar intake, especially between meals.