Dental health is an important part of your child’s overall health. In 2003, the American Dental Association launched the Give Kids a Smile program to help disadvantaged kids receive free dental care, and to teach parents how vital oral care is to overall health. Here at Sunrise Children’s Hospital , we’d like to take the opportunity to thank these volunteer dentists, and to encourage parents to celebrate Give Kids a Smile Day by learning more about their kids’ oral health needs.
Oral issues in babies and toddlers
Your baby needs oral care from day one . Although he or she won’t start teething for a while, it’s important to take good care of the gum tissue and their teeth as they begin to appear.
When your child is bottle-feeding, avoid giving them sugary liquids or milk between meals. Baby bottle tooth decay is caused by this liquid sitting on their gums and teeth. If they fall asleep with the bottle, it’s even more important to give them water instead, as it can sit in their mouth overnight.
Once your baby is done eating, make sure to wipe your child’s gums or teeth. This will prevent the excess sugar from building up on their gums or teeth as plaque.
Oral issues with elementary aged children
As soon as your child’s first tooth erupts, or no later than the first birthday, your child needs to see the dentist . Your dentist will help you learn how to gently brush your child’s baby teeth, and as they age, how to teach them to brush themselves.
Without proper dental care, a child can develop tooth decay in both baby and adult teeth. Tooth decay can be painful and cause issues with eating (and lead to poor nutrition), self-confidence, and even speech.
Oral care for adolescents
As your children age and become adults, tooth decay and damage can cause serious conditions like cardiovascular infections, or cause complications to current conditions like diabetes. Helping your child develop thorough oral hygiene early will set them up for success as they grow up.
Whatever your family’s health challenges , the pediatric specialists at Sunrise Children’s Hospital can help. We’re proud to be a leading provider of specialized pediatric healthcare for Las Vegas-area families. You can request a physician referral by calling a trusted member of our nursing team at (702) 233-5437.