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What Most First-Time Parents Don't Know About Children's Oral Health Needs

As a first-time parent, you have a lot to learn. In fact, it can feel pretty overwhelming. Caring for your baby and setting them up for a healthy life requires you to do a lot of specific things, and the list can feel daunting. 

We want to help. Here at Happy Teeth Children’s Dentistry in Riverside, California, Irene Zaki, DDS, and our team are ready to come alongside you to make at least one aspect of caring for your child — protecting their oral health — a little easier. With her expertise in pediatric dentistry, Dr. Zaki helps you monitor your child’s teeth and gums, proactively defend against common oral health issues, and more. 

In fact, Dr. Zaki and our team developed a list of a few things first-time parents should know that can be helpful as they think about their child’s oral health. 

Oral care starts before any teeth come in

Bacteria can thrive in your child’s mouth well before teeth emerge through their gums. Fortunately, you can get rid of it — and you don’t even need a toothbrush. 

Taking a clean, soft cloth and wiping down their gums works just as well as toothbrushing once teeth come in. Dr. Zaki recommends doing this after the day's first feeding and right before bed. 

The first dental visit should happen by age 1

By their first birthday, most kids only have a handful of teeth. You might think, then, that you don’t need to start visiting the dentist until there’s more to contend with here. Actually, though, visiting the dentist early — by your child’s first birthday — goes a long way toward helping them avoid oral health issues. 

You can be proactive about your child’s oral health

More than half of kids ages 6-8 have a cavity. But you don’t have to let your child be a part of this statistic.

Dr. Zaki works with you to proactively devise a plan to defend your child against tooth decay. She can, for example, apply silver diamine fluoride (SDF), an antimicrobial liquid that reduces bacterial growth (the root cause of tooth decay) and prevents bacteria from spreading. 

She also offers sealants to prevent food and bacteria from getting stuck in the tiny grooves of your child’s molars. These protective shields directly lessen the risk of cavities in the areas more difficult to reach with a toothbrush. 

To talk with Dr. Zaki about the oral health care your child needs — and any questions you might have about it as a first-time parent — call our office or request an appointment online today.

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