There is never a time that is too soon when it comes to preventative care for your teeth. Prevention begins early in life so it is best to establish good habits early. Preventive Care Dentistry is the practice of keeping your teeth healthy using various forms of preventative care. Routine exams, cleanings proper daily brushings, regular flossing(manual or with a WaterPik, Hydrofloss) as well as taking advantage of the various procedures and products that will keep your smile healthy. It is best to avoid cavities, gum disease, worn teeth, enamel wear as well as catching any cracks early. One area commonly overlooked in Preventative Care Dentistry is the earliest of interventions: INFANCY and EARLY CHILDHOOD. Teaching children the importance of oral hygiene along with proper technique is one of the greatest gifts parents can give their children Teaching good habits early will save money and even avoid gum disease and potential tooth loss.
Timothy C. Adams, DDS, D.ACSDD, LVIM offers a comprehensive preventative care program
Preventative Care actually begins during pregnancy with quality prenatal care but one of the first things parents can do to aid in the development of their newborn baby's teeth is to breastfeed. Infants that are breast fed have a totally different development pattern than infants that are bottle fed. This development pattern has a strong interplay between sucking, swallowing and breathing. The infants age, mouth position, how hungry the infant is, breast shape and size of the nipple, flow of milk, infant’s alertness and fatigue play an important role in the overall development. Studies have shown that infants that are bottle fed have fewer sucks and the same number but a longer duration of pauses during breast feeding. #1 This can cause developmental asymmetries in the infant. It has been shown that breastfeeding infants’ bodies, faces, heads and eyes develop much more symmetrically because switching the position of the infant when feeding with both breasts stimulates and exercises both sides of the body.
When an infant is latched efficiently on the breast the nipple drawn deeply in the infant’s mouth. This deep latch supports and maintains the normal wide and flatter shape of the palate (the roof of the mouth). Artificial nipples and pacifiers push the palate into a higher and narrower V shape. This palatal change can affect the breathing and upper airway development, tongue position and function. The shape of the palate inside the mouth also affects the external shape of the face and jaw as well as the shape of the dental arch. This can lead to many forms of malocclusion in the primary and permanent dentition. Speech problems for the developing infant can be a direct result of these malformations. It has been shown that changes found in the shape of the mouth and movement of the jaw and throat muscles with breastfed infants are strong indications of the advantages of breastfeeding versus bottle feeding.
“Breastfed babies have a better chance of dental health than artificially-fed infants because of the effects of breastfeeding on the development of the oral cavity and airway. With fewer malocclusions, these children may have a reduced need for orthodontic intervention. In addition, children with the proper development of a well-rounded, "U-shaped" dental arch, which is found more commonly in breastfed children, may have fewer problems with snoring and sleep apnea in later life.” Dr. Brian Palmer
#1 BMC Pediatr. 2010; 10: 6. Mechanics of sucking: comparison between bottle feeding and breastfeeding; #2 Dev Neuropsychol.2007;31(3):337-47.
Angel Moral,corresponding author#1,2,3 Ignasi Bolibar,#4,5 Gloria Seguranyes,#6 Josep M Ustrell,#7 Gloria Sebastiá,#8 Cristina Martínez-Barba,9 and Jose Ríos10,Ferguson M1, Molfese PJ.
While the studies on breastfeeding are compelling, it does not mean a child that is not breastfed is going to suffer from oral defects because that is simply not true. The intention of Timothy C. Adams, DDS, D.ACSDD, LVIM is to educate for the purpose of growing a well informed patient base.
EARLY PREVENTATIVE CARE FOR PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS:
*As soon your baby's first tooth has erupted, get into the practice of wiping the tooth after every meal, including after the breast or bottle. Most importantly, gently wipe their teeth before bed.
*NEVER EVER let your infant take a bottle to bed. This leads to bottle cari disease which is the rotting of the primary teeth.
*As soon as your infant gets his first tooth, it' time to begin proper oral hygiene. Just as you would never go to bed without brushing your teeth, the same should be true for baby.
*Let your toddler begin brushing with parental follow through.
*The first dental visit for a healthy child should be between 1-2 years. Occasionally, babies have been conditioned to fear going to the doctor because of the shots received as infants. Some children remember the distress and begin fearing all offices delivering health care. Fears of the dentist or physician can also be projected by parents which creates unnecessary anxiety and distress for the toddler. Dr. Adams believes it is important to begin acclimating the child to the dental office and enjoy a positive experience with the parents serving as positive role models. Children need to have the opportunity to experience a dental visit without any unpleasant experiences. They have a blank slate and their first dental visit should be pleasant.
*ALWAYS have your children wear mouthguards when they play sports because this is the only way to prevent or reduce damage or loss to the teeth and even may reduce concussions.
Timothy C. Adams, DDS, D.ACSDD, LVIM Offers Comprehensive Care For All Ages
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- Dental Exams
- Ultrasonic Cleanings
- Routine Cleanings
- Oral Cancer Screenings
- TekFit Sports Mouthguards
- Bruxing Appliances
- Digital X-Ray
- Intraoral Camera
We offer a variety of services of the highest quality dental care for our patients. We encourage you to learn more about what we provide and how we can help. If you have any questions about your child's first dental exam, please contact us by calling (317) 580-9222. We're always happy to hear from you!