Caring For Your Babies Teeth

You can help your infant have a healthy mouth with the following tips:

- Breast feeding is healthier in terms of the nutrition as well as the development of jaw and face bones and muscle through sucking function

- Clean your infant's teeth with a wet gauze or washcloth or give him/her water to clean the gums and teeth after each nursing

-Reduce mouth contact with other individuals specially adults with cavities or gum disease history,the bacteria that cause tooth decay or gum disease can be transferred through oral contact at an early age and inhabit the baby's mouth. Follow these guidelines for improving your young baby's oral health and smile!
Even before your baby's first tooth appears, the gums can benefit from your careful attention. After breast- or bottle-feeding, wrap one finger with a clean, damp washcloth or piece of gauze and gently rub it across your baby's gum tissue. This practice both clears your little one's mouth of any fragments of food and begins the process for building good daily oral care habits.

Are you prepared for the arrival of your baby's first tooth?
When that first tooth makes an entrance, it's time to upgrade to a baby toothbrush. There are usually two options: a long-handled toothbrush that you and your baby can hold at the same time, and a finger-puppet-like brush that fits over the tip of your pointer finger. In each case, the bristles are soft and few.

At this stage, toothpaste isn't necessary; just dip the brush in water before brushing. If your little one doesn't react well to the introduction of a toothbrush, don't give up. Switch back to a damp washcloth for a few months and try the toothbrush again. During the teething process, your child will want to chew on just about anything, and a baby toothbrush with a teether can become a favorite toy during this period.
When a few more teeth appear, you can start using toothpaste with your child's brush. However, for the first two years, be sure to choose toothpastes that do not contain fluoride, unless advised to do so by your dentist. Too much fluoride can be dangerous for youngsters and the toothpaste should not contain flouride until they learn not to swallow any amount of it. From the beginning, have your little one practice spitting the toothpaste out after brushing to prepare for fluoride toothpaste, which should not be swallowed at any age.
Don't give your baby any sort of sweetened liquids such as flavored drinks or soda. Even the sugars found in fruit juice, formula, and milk (this goes for breast milk as well) can cause decay, so regular teeth and gum cleaning is vital. Also, make sure your baby never goes to bed with a bottle; prolonged contact with sugary liquids is guaranteed to cause early-childhood decay, also called baby-bottle caries.
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children see a dentist before their first birthday. It's recommended that you bring your baby in for a visit within six months after the eruption of his or her first tooth – usually around their first birthday. Since decay can occur in even the smallest of teeth, the earlier your baby visits us at Laguna Niguel Orthodontics & Children's Dentistry, the more likely he or she is to avoid problems. We'll perform a comprehensive exam and look for any signs of early problems with your baby's jaw growth, oral heath, nutrition and mouth habits. We like to help and educate the parents about how to provide the best care for their little one's mouth and teeth. Remember that preparing for a dental visit with a positive attitude goes a long way toward making your child comfortable with regular checkups. The first dentist visit at Laguna Niguel Children's Dentistry is so important and we want it to be a very pleasant experience for you and your child. Here are our guidelines to help you:

- Schedule the appointment earlier in the day, children do better with morning appointments

- Pick a time that your child is usually done with their nap: tired or sleepy children don't do well at the time of their visit

- Make sure your baby is not hungry but don't feed them a large meal right before the appointment since it makes them more likely to gag or feel sick when we clean or check their teeth. Give your baby a small feeding at least 30 minutes before their appointment

- If your child has difficulty with their physician visits or there are certain things that he or she is afraid of, please advise us before the appointment to make sure we plan accordingly
As part of the natural learning process, little ones are expert mimics, and you can take advantage of this talent. Brush and floss daily while your child is watching, and he or she will intuit at an early age the importance of your good habits. As soon as your child shows interest, offer a toothbrush of his or her own and encourage your toddler to “brush” with you. (You'll find toothbrushes with chunky, short handles that are easy to grip.) Most children don't have the dexterity necessary to thoroughly clean their own teeth until they're about six or seven, so you'll have to do that part of the job. Try different tactics to make brushing fun: flavored toothpaste, a toothbrush with a favorite character on it, or singing songs about brushing. The primary goal is to instill healthy oral habits at an early age to set your child up for a lifetime of healthy, cavity-free teeth!

Your Child's Breathing and sleep habits:

It is not normal for children to snore, struggle to breath or have their mouth wide open while sleeping.

These are signs that indicate your child may have Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

- Excessive daytime sleepiness

- Loud snoring 3 or more nights per week

- Episodes of breathing cessation witnessed

- Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath

- Morning headache

- Difficulty staying sleep

- Attention problems

- Mouth breathing

- Sweating

- Restlessness

- Waking up a lot

You should look for these symptoms and discuss them with your pediatrician and dentist to assure the problem is addressed properly.