St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Dental care - child

    Proper care of your child's teeth and gums includes brushing and rinsing, routine dental exams, and any necessary treatments such as fluoride, extractions, fillings, or braces and other orthodontics.

    See also: Dental care - adult

    Information

    Healthy teeth and gums are essential to your child's overall good health. Injured, diseased, or poorly developed teeth can result in poor nutrition, painful and dangerous infections, and problems with speech development and self-image.

    CARING FOR AN INFANT'S TEETH

    Even though newborns and infants do not have teeth, it is important to take care of their mouth and gums. Follow these tips:

    • Use a damp washcloth to wipe your infant's gums after each meal.
    • Do NOT put your infant or young child to bed with a bottle of milk, juice, or sugar water. Use only water for bedtime bottles.
    • Begin using a soft toothbrush instead of a washcloth to clean your child's teeth as soon as his first tooth shows (usually between 5 - 8 months of age).
    • Ask your pediatrician if your infant needs fluoride added to his diet.

    THE FIRST TRIP TO THE DENTIST

    • Your child's first visit to the dentist should be between the time the first tooth appears (5 - 8 months) and the time when all the primary teeth are visible (before 2 1/2 years).
    • Many dentists recommend a "trial" visit to expose the child to the sights, sounds, smells, and feel of the office before the actual examination.
    • Children who are accustomed to having their gums wiped and teeth brushed every day will be more comfortable going to the dentist.

    CARING FOR A CHILD'S TEETH

    • The child's teeth and gums should be brushed at least twice each day and especially before bed. Electric tooth brushes clean teeth better than manual ones.
    • Take your child to a dentist every 6 months. Let the dentist know if your child thumb sucks or breathes through the mouth.
    • Teach your child how to play safe and what to do if a tooth is broken or knocked out.
    • When your child gets permanent teeth, he or she should begin flossing each evening before bed.
    • When the child reaches the teens, braces or extractions may be needed to prevent long-term problems.

    If your child loses an adult (permanent) tooth during a fall or other injury, see broken or knocked out tooth for first aid instructions. If you act quickly, you can often save the tooth.

    References

    Douglass JM. A practical guide to infant oral health. Am Fam Physician. 2004;70:2113-2120.

    Hale KJ; American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Pediatric Dentistry. Oral health risk assessment timing and establishment of the dental home. Pediatrics. 2003;111:1113-1116.

    BACK TO TOP

    • illustration

    • Infant dental care

      illustration

      • illustration

      • Infant dental care

        illustration

      A Closer Look

      Talking to your MD

        Self Care

        Tests for Dental care - child

          Review Date: 2/22/2012

          Reviewed By: Paul Fotek, DMD, Florida Institute for Periodontics & Dental lmplants, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

          The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
          adam.com

          A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


          Back  |  Top
          About Us
          Contact Us
          History
          Mission
          Locations & Directions
          Quality Reports
          Annual Reports
          Honors & Awards
          Community Health Needs
          Assessment

          Newsroom
          Services
          Brain & Spine
          Cancer
          Heart
          Maternity
          Orthopedics
          Pulmonary
          Sleep Medicine
          Urgent Care
          Women's Services
          All Services
          Patients & Visitors
          Locations & Directions
          Find a Physician
          Tour St. Luke's
          Patient & Visitor Information
          Contact Us
          Payment Options
          Financial Assistance
          Send a Card
          Mammogram Appointments
          Health Tools
          My Personal Health
          mystlukes
          Spirit of Women
          Health Information & Tools
          Clinical Trials
          Health Risk Assessments
          Employer Programs -
          Passport to Wellness

          Classes & Events
          Classes & Events
          Spirit of Women
          Donate & Volunteer
          Giving Opportunities
          Volunteer
          Physicians & Employees
          For Physicians
          Remote Access
          Medical Residency Information
          Pharmacy Residency Information
          Physician CPOE Training
          Careers
          Careers
          St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
          Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile