Dental Problems in Children with GERD
Question: What can be done to help my child with acid reflux?
Answer: There are many things parents can do. Your child should be seen by a dentist when his/her first tooth erupts or by 12 months of age. The dentist will advise you on proper brushing and preventative dental care. As soon as your child has teeth, begin brushing or wiping the teeth every day. Talk with your pediatrician about nutrition, fluoride, vitamins and minerals to develop healthy teeth. If your child needs frequent, small meals, minimize the amount of sugar served and wash/rinse or brush teeth after each meal. Remember to have your child rinse his/her mouth with a small amount of water or brush after taking medicine too. Some children with reflux need sealants on the surfaces of the teeth or a fluoride varnish to protect the teeth. Talk with your dentist about the best treatment for your child. Try several kinds of toothpaste to find a favor that is acceptable to your child with reflux. Remember, only a small dab of toothpaste is needed. Prescription brand toothpaste contains more fluoride and foams much less than regular toothpaste. Make tooth-brushing fun by providing appealing toothbrushes, cups and a low mirror so your child can see himself/herself brushing. Pretend play may allow a child to act out going to the dentist and lower stress.
For information on Pediatric Acid Reflux contact:
Pediatric/Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association (P.A.G.E.R.)
P.O. Box 7728
Silver Spring, MD 20907-7728
For information on pediatric dental care contact:
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry 211 East Chicago Ave., Ste. 700
Chicago, IL, 60611
American Society of Dentistry for Children
875 Michigan Ave, Suite 4040
Chicago, IL, 60611-1901
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