Taking Care of Your Baby’s Smile

Posted by Liza Elliott-Ramirez January - 27 - 2015
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By Sheryl Jones

Dentists agree that the health of a baby’s teeth begins with the dental healthy and oral hygiene of the mother. Pregnant moms are strongly urged to seek dental treatment of any present gum disease before the birth of the baby to prevent passing bacteria and germs to the baby through intimate contact.

Baby smile health

An increasing number of health care professionals are becoming aware of the indisputable connection between oral health and general health. Currently, some surgeons will not perform any surgical procedures until a patient gets “dental clearance” from their dentist to diminish the possibility of infection. After the birth of your precious one, dental health begins immediately. Teeth begin to form in the mouth of the infant before they actually appear. But once teeth do erupt, newborns should have their gums gently wiped over with gauze to remove milk remnants and to prevent “baby bottle syndrome”  an extensive amount of tooth decay caused by milk or juice bottles left in the baby’s mouth over night.

If the child insists on a bottle to go to sleep, parents are advised to use water instead. Once the child turns 2 years old, regular dental visits (every 6 months, minimum) should begin to ensure that teeth are growing normally and to monitor tooth decay. Pacifiers and thumb sucking should be eliminated to avoid future orthodontic work, which will keep both you and your baby smiling bright.


When Should I call the Doctor? 

Pediatricians acknowledge that Children do not come with an instruction manual, and distress can visit an infant at any time of day or night, with symptoms that vary in length and complexity. Parents with experience in childrearing may be able to recognize which symptoms require a call or a trip to the doctor’s office, while new parents may not. It is recommended that parents develop a support group with other parents to have a network of experience to draw from.

With a newborn, small things can be significant. Major things to check include high temperatures, (above 99.2) and low temperatures (below 98.7). Either of these requires immediate intervention by the parent and pediatrician. Remedies can be as simple as removing or adding a blanket. However, temperature must be regulated.

Feeding patterns in the newborn should be increasing gradually. A baby’s demeanor should be relatively stable; after ensuring the baby is comfortable, including dry, and changed, with hands and feet covered, a calm happy baby that suddenly begins and continues to cry, should be checked by a doctor.  It is difficult in the beginning to differentiate the differences in a baby’s crying; they all have different meanings. If there is no reassurance, or resolution, parents are urged to call the pediatrician immediately.

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