Good oral health is important from before you get your first tooth to your last days. Let’s take a look at oral health, its definition, and what should be happening both in our pediatric dental offices and in your own homes.
“Oral health is multifaceted and includes the ability to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow, and convey a range of emotions through facial expressions with confidence and without pain, discomfort, and disease of the craniofacial complex,” reads the definition.
Dental checkups are encouraged within a baby’s first year. Beginning a prevention plan at this time can help avoid early-onset and future dental problems. Dr. Frank Sierra says, “This initial visit will establish a dental home for your child. Early examination and preventive care will protect your child’s smile now and in the future.”
Mouth Healthy.org states, “Tooth decay is a disease that can begin with cavity-causing bacteria being passed from the mother (or primary caregiver) to the infant. These bacteria are passed through the saliva. When the mother puts the baby’s feeding spoon in her mouth or cleans a pacifier in her mouth, the bacteria can be passed to the baby.” This is an important concept, as your child’s good oral health is very much the responsibility of you, the parent. We even wrote a blog about what pregnant women should do to maintain their own oral health, for the health of their children.
Baby teeth are important as they are also the placeholders for adult teeth. They have function in speech, eating, smiling, and should be maintained until it is their time to come out. We have a 2-2-2 rule blog with tasks for keeping your child’s teeth healthy. We encourage you to take a look and to obey the rules for their lifelong health.
One of the rules mentioned above is visiting the dentist twice a year. If you are in the Tampa Bay area, Kids Smiles would love to be your pediatric dentist. We don’t require a referral for an appointment, so schedule one today.