Early Treatment

Dental Cleaning

Even before your baby has teeth you should clean inside of the mouth. To do this, use either a wet 2×2 gauze or a wet washcloth. Massage and wash inside the lips and cheeks, all around the tongue, the roof of the mouth and all along the upper and lower gum pads where the teeth will form later.

As soon as the teeth erupt, bacteria begins to accumulate in the mouth and may combine with sugar to form acid. The cleaning of an infant?s teeth should begin as soon as the first tooth erupts. The teeth can be wiped with a piece of gauze or a clean washcloth initially. When your child has adjusted to the routine of daily teeth cleaning, a small toothbrush should be introduced. It is important to clean the teeth at least two times per day? once in the morning and once right before sleep. As more teeth erupt, flossing may or may not be required, depending upon the presence or absence of spaces.

Dental Injuries

Falls, bumps and bruises are a normal part of the growing up process of infants and young children. Injuries to the mouth and teeth are quite common between the ages of 12 and 18 months, when the infant is learning to walk. Any injury which causes bleeding that doesn?t stop readily or that results in tooth fractures or teeth being moved out of place should be evaluated. Frequently, all that will be required following an injury is close observation. However, this can only be determined by having the injury examined.

Interceptive Orthodontics

Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Beginning treatment at this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age seven. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, Dr. Kelley can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.

Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:

  • Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
  • Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
  • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Preserving space for unerupted teeth
  • Reducing the need for tooth removal
  • Reducing treatment time with braces