Family dental care in Garland TX at the office of Dr.Vidya Suri and her team is about giving the royal treatment to children and children at heart. Ideally, though, dental care starts before a child is even born. The expectant mom’s oral plays a role in her unborn child’s health. The American Academy of Periodontology reports that research has implicated periodontal disease among expectant mothers in a range of serious complications, including an elevated risk of delivering premature or underweight babies. The American Dental Association found pregnant women with chronic periodontal disease were 4 to 7 times more likely to deliver low birthweight and pre-term babies (before gestational week No. 37) than their counterparts with good gum health.
It’s essential that Dr. Suri and the Kings Dental team monitor mothers’ oral health throughout pregnancy. Additionally, pregnant women are at such an increased risk of developing periodontal disease, that there is a term for this condition: pregnancy gingivitis. In fact, it’s estimated 40% of women will develop this form of periodontal disease during their pregnancy.
Pregnancy elevates the level of the hormone progesterone. This hormonal change is thought to allow some gum disease-causing bacteria to flourish. Progesterone is also though to heighten tissue sensitivity to plaque, and to aggravate the mother’s response to plaque-related toxins. Existing gum disease may become worse in pregnancy.
Mothers, fathers, and other caregivers alike should avoid sharing utensils or any activities that might transmit “bad” bacteria to their child. Sharing spoons and drinking glasses, moistening pacifiers, and other habits result in saliva being exchanged. You can increase your child’s concentration of harmful bacteria if you have periodontal disease or cavities. Even if you don’t have these conditions, sharing is not always caring. As a child’s immune system develops, the introduction of adult bacteria can upset oral flora and make him or her more susceptible to gum disease. Encourage your child to not share a friend’s straw, toothbrushes, and other items that could increase his or her risk of developing gum disease.
Periodontal disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. You don’t want your child to lose any teeth, yes, even a baby tooth. Baby teeth play many important roles:
- Guide permanent teeth into appropriate positions.
- Help to avoid misalignment or bite problems that require orthodontic treatment.
- Support healthy development of jaw bones and muscles.
The healthy development of your baby’s first teeth also supports facial structure, clear speech, and good nutrition, which contributes to a great quality of life in early childhood.
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Dr. Suri likes to start monitoring the health of your baby’s teeth before they come in; she follows the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry’s guidelines. Caregivers are encouraged to have their child’s first visit by no later than his or her first birthday, or as soon as a tooth breaks through the gums. Typically, the first tooth erupts between the ages of 6 to 10 months. There is a good chance that tooth will be one of the lower front teeth or central incisors. These teeth help to support the lips, aid in pronouncing “t,” “th,” and other sounds, and support the normal position of the jaw when your mouth is closed. Flat and thin, they are designed to cut through food.
Kings Dental loves educating parents and caregivers. Dr. Suri and the team will show you how to clean your baby’s gums even before teeth are present. Toothpaste isn’t necessary; all it takes for a good clean is a moist, soft washcloth or gauze. Dr. Suri recommends wiping the gums at least two times each day, especially after feeding and before bedtime. This simple cleaning technique prevents bacteria from attaching to gums and forming plaque, which can damage baby teeth as they erupt in your child’s mouth. As your child’s teeth come in, she’ll show you effective techniques to brush with pint-sized toothbrushes and grain- to pea-sized toothpaste (depending on your child’s age). As your child gets older, other preventive interventions may be recommended, including:
- Fluoride treatments to strengthen tooth enamel; make teeth more resistant to decay-causing acid attacks
- Dental sealants to protect cavity-prone back teeth (molars)
- Dental appliances to protect the teeth and jaws from injuries during sports, or from damage caused by teeth-grinding
As your Garland family dentist, Kings Dental is sensitive to patients’ budgets and busy lifestyles. Dr. Suri is pleased to accept many types of insurance, as a Medicaid dentist serving Mesquite area families and patients throughout the DFW Metroplex. Patients appreciate having a dentist open evenings and Saturdays in Garland and near Mesquite. Call (214) 703-6900 to schedule an appointment.