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Pediatrician: dental care needed at birth
Updated: 1/2/2009 4:00:28 PM

Pediatrician: dental care needed at birth New mothers are being urged by dental health professionals to start administering good dental care on their infants almost immediately.

Dr Ovidio Penalver, a Washington state pediatrician, said neglected baby teeth can lead to dental health problems with permanent teeth and that moms should wipe a baby's toothless gums with a clean, damp washcloth or a piece of gauze, SanLuisObispo.com reports.

"Dental problems can lead to further problems that affect the whole health of a child," Penalver told the news provider.

In the past, parents were told to have their child's teeth checked by the age of 3. However, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry now suggest parents have their babies' teeth examined as soon as they appear and at least by the age of 1, according to the article.

The early exams may also allow dentists to advise parents on specific dental care for their child, such as diet and eating habits, states SanLuisObispo.com.

Along with brushing a baby's teeth with a special toothbrush, Penalver suggests parents use "a rice-sized amount of fluoride" to increase dental health.

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