36: Caring for your Baby or Toddler’s Teeth with Dr. Yum

Parenting Podcast – Episode 36: Caring for your Baby or Toddler’s Teeth with Dr. Yum

For the full show notes, visit: https://growingourfamily.com/s02e36/ 

Today we have a special guest, Dr. Grace Yum is in a small pool of less than 5% of all dentists who become certified in pediatrics. She stays up-to-date on the latest advancements in the field of pediatric dentistry and is active in numerous professional organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Illinois Society of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association, and Chicago Dental Society. She is also the host of the Mommy Dentists in Business Podcast where she helps moms be successful in their medical careers and in their lives more broadly.

Where to find the podcast:

I have a breakdown of today’s questions and answers below, but check out the full episode to learn more! You can find the episode on any podcasting platform, or find the link to some of the most popular platforms below.

Show Notes

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How did Dr. Yum get into pediatric dentistry?

She started as a dental assistant at age 18. Her family dentist had a daughter who was an orthodontist. She was the orthodontist’s dental assistant and did that as a part time job in college. One of the offices she worked at was a dual office that had orthodontics services as well as pediatrics dentistry. Sometimes Dr. Yum was asked to help with the pediatrics patients and she ended up loving it. She studied communications in college and also took science classes to go to dental school. Her communications studies have really helped with her dentistry career since she has to be able to learn how to communicate with patients.

When and how should you start caring for your baby’s teeth or gums?

There’s sugar in breastmilk and formula so it’s a good habit to take a warm washcloth and rinse your baby’s mouth and tongue. You should start doing this when the first tooth comes around 6 months. 

When should you transition to a toothbrush? 

You can introduce a toothbrush between the ages of 10 to 12 months.

What should you look for in a baby toothbrush? 

Buy an infant toothbrush with soft bristles. 

Will any kids toothbrush work? 

Rubber bristles are good for teething but don’t get plaque off. 

Do you have to floss baby teeth? 

Floss teeth as soon as they are touching.

When should you start using toothpaste? 

You should use training toothpaste or none at all. At age 2, you can use fluoride toothpaste at the size of a grain of rice.

Importance of fluoride:

Fluoride helps bind minerals to your teeth and strengthen your enamel.

What to do if your water is not fluoridated? 

Start fluoride toothpaste before age 2 or ask your pediatrician for a fluoride supplement.

When should children see a pediatric dentist themselves? 

A baby should see a dentist when they are growing their first tooth around 6 months, or by their first birthday. This appointment is just for the parents’ education for their baby’s teeth.

Baby bottle tooth decay

  • What is it? 

It is when the baby has access to the bottle in the crib and prolongs the use of the bottle.

  • How to prevent it? 

Give the bottle at meal time but keep it away from the bed.

  • What drinks should you give your kids to help? 

Stick to milk and water. Avoid giving juice.

  • How to spot the signs of cavities or decay? 

The tooth becomes a frosty white color near the gumline. It then turns light brown and then dark brown. You can rub fluoride toothpaste to strengthen it.

How do you help a toddler brush their teeth when they want to be independent? 

Let your toddler brush for a minute and then give the parent a turn to help brush. Kids usually don’t brush well until age 7.

When to use children’s mouthwash? 

Kids can use mouthwash at age 6. Make sure you keep it away from young children. If mouthwash is swallowed, give them milk right away, call poison control, and go to the ER. 

What are some product recommendations from Dr. Yum?

She recommends Nosefrida to get boogers. However, don’t use it too much or it will cause inflammation and swelling in the nose.

Dr. Yum’s Product Recommendation for new moms: Nose Frida https://amzn.to/386VibI 

Where to find Dr. Yum

Mommy Dentists in Business Podcast

Where to find the podcast:

Intro Song courtesy of:

I dunno by grapes (c) copyright 2008 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/grapes/16626 Ft: J Lang, Morusque