Breaking news: According to the latest announcement from Stork headquarters, despite repeated requests from parents in Chicago and around the globe, infants will continue to be delivered without instruction manuals. That means raising children continues to be a challenging journey, filled with guesswork and unanswered questions. But, at least there is one thing you don’t have to worry about – your child’s oral health. While we can’t provide a complete instruction manual, we can give you a simple guide to keeping your kids’ teeth healthy.
The first year
Newborns don’t have teeth, so naturally they don’t need to see a dentist yet. However, oral care starts from day one. Clean your baby’s gums gently with a soft, damp cloth after feeding. Also, avoid giving him or her a bottle of juice or other sugary liquid at naptime to protect emerging teeth. Many new parents assume a bottle of milk is safe, but it actually has a high sugar content. It’s best to forgo the naptime bottle, or fill it with plain water.
After teeth appear
When teeth appear, oral care becomes a little more complicated. Don’t worry; you aren’t in this alone. Once your child has a tooth, it’s time to see a dentist, and the team at Big Smile Dental is here to keep you and your little one smiling. We will show you the best way to brush and floss tiny teeth, advise you about the link between nutrition and oral health, and as your little one grows, we’ll help him or her develop healthy habits.
The first few appointments are generally educational, an opportunity for us to monitor tooth development, answer your questions, and advise you about the current and upcoming stages of your child’s oral health. As your child grows, we may recommend simple health-promoting procedures. Fluoride treatments strengthen enamel, while sealants form a protective barrier between teeth and harmful bacteria. Mouthguards are essential for little athletes, as they greatly reduce the risk of injury.
Ideally, children’s dental care should consist of cleanings and preventive treatments, such as those mentioned above. However, kids will be kids, and cavities or injuries may happen, despite your best efforts. If it occurs, call us right away. We offer a full line of fillings, crowns, and other restorative treatments, including emergency cases. As your little one becomes a tween and then a teen, orthodontic problems may become apparent. If so, we offer several options in braces. And, there is no need to change dentists as he or she grows up. We welcome patients of all ages, and we are committed to helping you and your family enjoy great smiles for life! Call us at 773-772-8400 and schedule an appointment today.