Protect Your Child’s Smile from the Start

Good dental habits for parents and babies prevent problems when kids are older, says USC pediatric dentist Dr. Gardner Beale.

Dental problems are one of the biggest health issues facing kids in Los Angeles. Mouth pain from tooth decay is the number one reason L.A. kids miss school, and children with poor dental health end up with lower grades than kids with healthy smiles, according to research from the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC.

 

Many of these serious problems can be avoided if parents start setting good dental habits for the whole family early, even before kids are born, says USC pediatric dentist Dr. Gardner Beale.

 

Pregnant women have a higher risk for certain dental problems including gingivitis, an infection that causes gums to swell and bleed. As soon as she finds out she’s pregnant, a mom-to-be should visit a dentist for a checkup. If there is any dental surgery needed, such as having a tooth pulled, the dentist may delay it until after the first trimester if possible, since anesthesia may pose a risk to the unborn baby, Dr. Beale says.

 

Pregnant women, as well as their partners, should also have good dental hygiene at home, brushing and flossing their teeth at least twice a day after eating. This not only reduces the risk of dental problems for the mom-to-be but also helps maintain good habits after the baby comes, Dr. Beale says.

 

“When you kiss a baby or share eating utensils, you can transfer bacteria that causes tooth decay, so having good hygiene for yourself is important,” he says.

 

Parents can start helping their kids have good dental habits right away, even before their teeth come in, Dr. Beale adds. Washing a baby’s gums with a soft, wet washcloth or gauze helps them get used to cleaning their mouth after meals. Parents should begin brushing their child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts and should take their child to their first dental appointment sometime during the first year.

 

“Helping kids clean their mouths at home also helps them not be afraid to have a dentist look at their teeth,” Dr. Beale says.

 

Kids having a “dental home” – a clinic where they will go for regular dental checkups – is important for preventing and treating tooth decay and other dental problems before they become serious and painful. Dentists and dental hygienists can not only teach good hygiene habits and clean teeth but also can give nutrition advice and provide protective fluoride treatment and tooth sealants.

 

Parents should have dental homes, good dental hygiene habits, and good nutrition as well, not just for their health but also because their growing kids will watch and eventually imitate them, Dr. Beale adds.

 

The Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC offers low-cost dental care to children and adults. To learn more, please visit dentistry.usc.edu/patient-care or call (213) 740-2805.

Views: 306

Comment

You need to be a member of University Park Family to add comments!

Join University Park Family

University Park Family is the news and social network for the neighborhoods around USC and Expo Park. Stay informed. Join now!

       • Got news you think everyone should know? Blog it.

• Have a show or attending a benefit? Put it on the calendar.
• Got video of the big game? Embed it.
• Photos of your business or the school play? Upload them.

Latest Activity

Jo- Koo of DojO- commented on Jo- Koo of DojO-'s blog post The 'newly renovated' World Stage "Concert Schedule +" Feb "Black History Month" 2020 "Winter Jazz Concert Series +" ~ *updatez*
"Re: MetalJazz vessel L.A. previews February 21-27: Karen Briggs... Alex Cline does Jarman... Fri. Feb. 21 -- Acclaimed violinist Karen Briggs does everything from urban soul to classical to hip-hop, & you can't sit…"
1 hour ago
Jo- Koo of DojO- updated an event
Thumbnail

ALEX CLINE Limitless Light Ensemble - Tribute To: Joseph Jarmen 'n STAGE Fundraiser at The World Stage

February 22, 2020 from 8pm to 11:30pm
*" Limitless Light' Ensemble, plays music of Joseph Jarmon "*Alex Cline, Ensemble Leader - drums & percussion "i keepz spotin' this guy all over, lik he'z got a twin." -w/ George T. Abe- shakuhachi, bamboo flutes, percussion, etc. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson - 5-string electric violin Christopher Garcia - EL MONSTRO percussion Phillip Greenlief - alto & tenor saxophone Pablo Calogero - clarinets, tenor saxophone Lisa Mezzacappa - bass GE Stinson - electric guitar Dwight Trible - voice…See More
17 hours ago
Jo- Koo of DojO- posted an event
Thumbnail

The Herbie Hancock Institude of Jazz/Performance / Jam @ The 'newly renovated' World STAGE at The World Stage Art, Education and Performance Gallery " 'Best Jazz Jam'·'Best South L.A. Jazz Club' " - LAWeekly

February 24, 2020 from 9pm to 11:30pm
They're Back! (formally known as) The Thelonious Monk... "Winter Jazz Concert Series +" HHIJP Class of 2020 JAMz "All Welcome"The World Stage - Art, Education & Performance Gallery a non profit 501(c)(3) UCLAs' Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance-Ensemble/Herb Alpert School of Music. JAM SESSION This is an all ages event! (incl.…See More
18 hours ago
Jo- Koo of DojO- commented on Jo- Koo of DojO-'s blog post The 'newly renovated' World Stage "Concert Schedule +" Feb "Black History Month" 2020 "Winter Jazz Concert Series +" ~ *updatez*
"Wuz Hot? Weekly Best Bets 4 Live Jazz L.A. (*updatez*) (Black History Month "Winter Jazz Concert Series +" TWS 30th Yr.) Friday 2/21 – Violinist Karen Briggs (Kortet - An Intimate Event of Accoustic Jazz) Saturday…"
19 hours ago
Jo- Koo of DojO- updated an event
Thumbnail

KAREN BRIGGS @ The 'newly renovated' World STAGE Fri., Feb. 21st 9PM~ at The World Stage

February 21, 2020 from 9pm to 11:30pm
"An Intimate Event of Accoustic Jazz"•"1st violin-soloist, fasten Yo seat belts!" - http://www.karenbriggsviolin.com/https://www.facebook.com/events/836632240124998/https://www.theworldstage.org/…See More
yesterday
Jo- Koo of DojO- posted an event
Thumbnail

ALEX CLINE Limitless Light Ensemble - Tribute To: Joseph Jarmen 'n STAGE Fundraiser at The World Stage

February 22, 2020 from 8pm to 11:30pm
*" Limitless Light' Ensemble, plays music of Joseph Jarmon "*Alex Cline, Ensemble Leader - drums & percussion "i keepz spotin' this guy all over, lik he'z got a twin." -w/ George T. Abe- shakuhachi, bamboo flutes, percussion, etc. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson - 5-string electric violin Christopher Garcia - EL MONSTRO percussion Phillip Greenlief - alto & tenor saxophone Pablo Calogero - clarinets, tenor saxophone Lisa Mezzacappa - bass GE Stinson - electric guitar Dwight Trible - voice…See More
Monday
Jo- Koo of DojO- updated an event
Monday
Jo- Koo of DojO- posted a photo

PATRICE RUSHEN @ The 'newly renovated' World STAGE Su., Feb. 16th 9 & 10:30PM

LPB: The Soul of L.A. The only source dedicated to the news of Leimert Park (Village)(ft. pg.) feat. NEWS BLOG POST *updatez*…
Sunday

Members

© 2020   Created by University Park Family.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service