By Gayle Lightfoot Ball RDH, MA Assistant Professor, Department of Dental Hygiene
How early can caries (cavities) occur in children?
Caries (cavities) are holes in your teeth caused by the stretococcus mutans bacteria and caries can develop in babies as early as 11 months of age!
Does over- the- counter medication contain sugar?
Many medications contain sucrose, some up to 50%; therefore, always clean your child’s teeth after giving medications to prevent cavities from forming.
Should I give my child fluoride supplements?
Always consult with your dentist and pediatrician about the need for fluoride supplements.
When should I use fluoridated tooth paste?
The recommendation is not to use fluoridated toothpaste until the age of 2 or 3. You can purchase training toothpaste (with no fluoride) to help children understand to spit out and not to swallow toothpaste. If the child has a moderate to high risk for cavities, consult your dentist.
Gayle Ball is a 1976 graduate of the Community College of Baltimore Dental Hygiene Program.
She received her BA degree in 1977 (Planning and Administration) and a MA 1978 (Health Service Administration) from Antioch College and Antioch University. Her current academic rank is Assistant Professor in the Department of Periodontics, Dental Hygiene Program. Mrs. Ball presently chairs the Dental Hygiene Curriculum Committee. She was a recipient of the Provost Fellowship for Diversity in 2006 and was recognized as one of 50 Women of Excellence in 2010 by the New Pittsburgh Courier. She has worked in private practice, military facilities, health clinics, and has taken part in the UPMC Black Family Project. Her research interest includes access of care for marginalized groups and minority recruitment and retention in health fields.