Children are an important part of our practice. Oral diseases (especially tooth decay and gum disease) are still by far the most common diseases in humankind. Good oral hygiene habits and regular dental care in childhood are absolutely essential to minimizing the impact of oral disease in later life.
Eruption of teeth begins at about 6 months; early oral hygiene consists of brushing the teeth with water. No fluoride toothpaste should be used; fluoride can be mildly toxic if swallowed. (We have the perfect child’s toothbrush, its complimentary) Begin using fluoride as soon as the child understands that it should not be swallowed. The first dental visit for a child should be at age 3 1/2 – 4. It is simple, quick and no charge. The child sits in the parent’s lap while the teeth and oral cavity are examined; the exam only takes 30 seconds. Any unusual findings are followed up. The good news: Childrens oral health in the greater Boston area tends to be excellent.
A NOTE ON FLUORIDE: Fluoridated water was hailed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “One of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century”. When ingested fluoride is incorporated into tooth structure, making it much more resistant to dental decay. It is critical from birth to age 8, as the crowns of teeth are forming at this time. Fluoridated water is safe for people of all ages.
Introduce tap water to your infants and children, especially if bottled water is mostly consumed. Tap water can be added to infants formula and children’s beverages. We do NOT recommend fluoride supplements for anyone in a fluoridated community, even if bottled water is primarily consumed.
Most communities in Massachusetts are fluoridated. Click to check the year your community was fluoridated: www.massdental.org/uploadedFiles/1_For_Professionals/13_Practice_Managment/131_Oral_Health_Topics/flouride_census.pdf