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Dental Hygiene Month: Dental Care for Your Two Year-Old

October is National Dental Hygiene Month. We celebrate all the work our dental hygienists do for our teeth and also raise awareness of strong oral health.

Good oral health is for everyone, too, whether you’re a child, a teenager, a millennial, middle-aged or in your golden years. There is no time in your life when you can be a “slacker” about your teeth.

So, for this month, in honor of National Dental Hygiene Month, we want to start at the beginning when the baby teeth are still in place. Their tiny teeth need proper care, too.

According to The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Dental Care guidelines for your infant to two year-old should include the following:   

  • Set an appointment for your pediatric dentist as soon as the first tooth appears. It should be no later than their first birthday. You should see your pediatric dentist every six months for proper dental care. Your dentist will most likely make recommendations based on your child’s dental health needs.
  • Primary or “baby teeth” are important for several reasons. These teeth help them form words and also chew food properly. So, these teeth must be cleaned regularly.
  • You should begin using toothpaste as soon as the first tooth appears! Parents need to use only a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush the baby teeth. Brush them twice a day using a soft, small, age-appropriate toothbrush. Also, brush gently so as not to damage, or dislodge the teeth.
  • Your child’s diet is also crucial to their dental health. It should be a balanced diet including one serving each day of fruits, vegetables, cereals, breads and milk. They should eat very little sugars and starches, which tend to cause early tooth decay and gum disease. Your pediatric dentist may make dietary recommendations based on your child’s medical and oral health needs.
  • If your child is nursing and you are concerned with tooth decay from it, there are several preventative measures you can take: don’t nurse them to sleep; fill their water bottle with only water and not milk and gently floss their teeth regularly.
  • Thumb sucking or pacifiers are not recognized as behavior causing dental care issues. In fact, it should not cause any tooth decay at all unless it goes beyond three years old. If they are still sucking their thumb after three, your pediatric dentist can fit them for an appliance that should eventually end that habit.

Pediatric dental care is crucial for that infant to two-year-old. Don’t make the mistake that baby teeth are temporary and therefore do not need to be cared for. In fact, baby teeth and dental hygiene early on may have an impact on oral health throughout their lives.

Your first visit at EJL Dental is a comprehensive one for the parents as we focus on getting to know your child and discussing theirdental care. Our doctor checks your child’s teeth placement and health. We also answer any questions you may have and do all we can to ensure a positive experience. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact EJL Dental at (301) 881-6170 or info@ejldental.com.

Orthodontics- Treatment Options for All Ages

We live in a time where we have access to information and everyone is learning … “Do It Yourself” (DIY) techniques. DIY seems best for everything from building a new deck to changing the oil in your car to even creating your own personal care products! It’s certainly practical and, perhaps, even a smart plan if you are a person who is handy. However, DIY is not always a good idea. In fact, in some circumstances, it may be disastrous. 

We do not recommend dental treatments as a DIY strategy. Yes, believe it or not, there is a trend to take dental work into your own hands, literally.  The American Dental Association is even warning people to beware of videos that show you how to straighten your teeth using rubber bands, dental floss or other products. We are concerned and want to let you know the risks of DIY and how in some cases it may result in permanent loss of teeth, gum disease or other health issues. (See the ADA video here)

Yes, everyone wants a beautiful and healthy smile, but DIY is not the way to do it.

Instead, the healthiest and most economical choice for orthodontic treatment is to have a licensed orthodontist provide all treatments. Even though most people think of pre-teens and teens when they think of orthodontics, there are good reasons a child should get an orthodontic check-up much earlier.  The American Association of Orthodontists recommends orthodontic evaluations beginning at age 7.

Orthodontics Treatment Options listed below:

  1. Early Orthodontic Treatment (Ages 7-11):

    Early treatment may correct some dental issues such as protruding teeth, harmful oral habits (like thumb sucking) and even improve the way lips meet. Once dental issues are found, they can be treated and they may not face that problem again.

  2. Adolescent Orthodontic Treatment (Ages 11-17):

    These are crucial years for dental and orthodontic treatments.  By the age of 12, many times, the permanent teeth have frequently all grown in.  There can be some dental and orthodontic issues at this stage so seeing an orthodontist is highly recommended. There are many different types of malocclusion, such as overbites, under bites, open bites and cross bites. Your orthodontist can find these issues early and begin treating them.  Orthodontic treatments at this stage may include braces, Invisalign and retainers.

  3. Adult Orthodontic Treatment (Ages 18 and up):

    Twenty percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Even if they have had excellent dental treatment as a child, they may still encounter dental issues due to their malocclusion. Common dental problems are poor teeth alignment, cavities, worn tooth enamel, old fillings, exposed tooth root and fractured teeth. Your orthodontist may recommend Invisalign treatments, clear braces or other aesthetic treatments. Additionally, due to teeth grinding or poor bite, patients may need oral surgery to correct these unhealthy conditions.

Family dental care is essential to promote healthy lifestyles. Whether a child or an adult, see your licensed dental care provider for pediatric and adult dental, orthodontic and cosmetic treatments. It’s the smart and healthy decision.

EJL Dental specializes in dental and orthodontic treatments for people of all ages. We also do emergency dental treatment, teeth whitening and family dental care in the Bethesda, Maryland area. Contact us at (301) 881- 6170 or info@ejldental.com.