After having two brain surgeries and more than six weeks of hospital care a young boy died; but he did not die from a tumor or brain disease. He died from an untreated tooth infection and an $80 tooth extraction could have saved his life. The Oral Health Alliance wants tragic stories like Deamonte Driverâ??s to encourage parents to take care of their children's teeth.
OHA has created a new service called ToothText. It is where text messages are sent directly to your phone with tips to help you care for you and your child's teeth. Tedi Howell Fladhammer, Doctor of Dental Medicine at Northeast Dental said a great misconception that parents have is that they don not have to brush their child's teeth because they will eventually fall out.
According to the OHA you should
- Clean your babyâ??s gums and teeth after every feeding with a damp cloth or gauze pad, even before their teeth have come in.
- Check your babyâ??s gums and teeth once a month. Look for any sign that there may be a problem, such as white spots. If you see white spots, call your dentist to make an appointment.
- It is recommended for babies to have their first visit to the dentist by age 1.
- Do not put your baby to sleep with a bottle.
- Wipe your babyâ??s gums after every feeding, even if you are breastfeeding.
- Do not give your baby sweets, like candy, cookies, or sugary drinks.
- Do not dip pacifiers in sweet foods or drinks.
- Try to wait six months before giving your baby juice.
- Do not let your baby sip on a sippy cup full of juice or other sugary drinks all day.
â??It's really important even though babies don't have very many teeth, it's really important to take all of that bacteria from the food and bacteria from being in (their) mouth off the teeth,â?? Dr. Fladhammer said.
She said children should also floss and rinse with mouthwash. â??If teeth touch we recommend that they floss their kidsâ?? teeth,â?? Dr. Fladhammer said. â??Generally I prescribe an ACT mouthwash. I like it because it doesn't have any alcohol in and it's real safe for kids.â??
To enroll in the ToothText program text one of these key words to 7-4-5-7-4. Text â??prenatalâ?? if you are pregnant. Text â??babyâ?? for children ages zero to two. Text â??childâ?? for children ages three to five. Text â??toothâ?? if for general oral health.
Standard message rates apply.