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Oral Health Care Recommendations

As parents, we invest a lot into our children. By starting a young child off with good oral hygiene, parents can make an early investment in their future smile and future health. Unfortunately, because of the fact that baby teeth fall out, the importance of establishing and maintaining an oral regimen with a child tends to be brushed off. However, not only does an early start to oral care help to protect a child’s teeth, it builds strong oral hygiene habits that can last a lifetime.

Dental Care & Oral Hygiene at an Early Age

This may come as a surprise, but even before a baby’s teeth emerge, oral health comes into play. Cleaning their gums daily using a moist cloth that’s been dampened with warm water can stop the buildup of harmful bacteria. Many people fail to realize that when baby teeth first come in around just 6 months, they are susceptible to decay and other problems. For reasons such as these, a visit to a pediatric dentist is recommended by the American Dental Association before a child’s first birthday.

At this early stage, dentists will likely review the parent’s dental history, examine the condition of the infant’s teeth, check bite alignment, and assess the possibility of future dental problems. He or she may also review the aspects of a healthy diet with you and make specific suggestions about preventative care and healthy oral habits at home. Overall, this visit helps set the stage for a healthy smile, while providing both family, and dentist an opportunity to connect and get to know each other better.

Children & Tooth Decay

In actuality, baby teeth aren’t around for a very long time, but they are still amazingly important. They help with the following important developmental goals:

  • Help in the development of clear speech

  • Allow for effective chewing

  • Prepare the way for permanent teeth, guiding them into proper position

As soon as baby teeth come in, tooth decay is all too ready to cause problems. Cavities and infection in baby teeth can actually result in damage to the permanent teeth underneath them. Termed “baby bottle decay,” childhood cavities often occur due to contact with drinks that contain sugars, such as milk, juice, or formula.

Even though tooth decay is preventable, it still remains a prevalent issue for children. According to recent research, in the United States the amount of children between five and nineteen years of age with untreated dental caries(cavities) is 17.5 %. It’s important to remember that the effects of tooth decay can be quite painful for a child to experience, not to mention that if left untreated, it can lead to infection and have an impact on eating and speaking. For children who are at risk for cavities, a dentist may apply fluoride varnish.


Right from the very beginning, good oral health proves itself imperative. These are a few recommendations for healthy habits that start a home:

  • If a child is younger than 3 years old, assist and/or supervise the brushing of a their teeth using a soft toothbrush with no more than a rice-sized smear of fluoridated toothpaste. Brush twice daily, once in the morning and once at night.

  • Begin flossing daily when a child has 2 teeth that are next to one another.

  • When a child reaches about 3 to 6 years old, increase the fluoridated toothpaste amount to about the size of a pea. Continue with the brushing twice daily routine. Make sure children do not swallow the toothpaste or use too much.

A Pediatric Dentist You Can Trust

At Samaritan Dental Arts, we understand that your children are a top priority, so we are committed to providing the quality pediatric dental care that’s designed to meet each child’s unique needs. The value of excellent oral health is important to everyone, big or small. But when it comes to dental visits for the little ones, we want to especially ensure that the experience is positive and fun, and the environment is warm and caring.

If you are looking for pediatric dentistry in Los Angeles with a dentist you can trust, contact the office of Dr. Alan Zabolian today. Whether it’s your infant’s very first visit, or a regular check-up, he combines his years of experience with a gentle touch to best ensure that their smile is in good hands.

  Dr. Alan Zabolian is a proud member of  
  • American Dental Association
  • California Dental Association logo
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Logo
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • Invisalign 2016 Preferred Provider