February is Dental Health Awareness Month.

Planning for your child’s first dental exam can feel like a daunting task, especially if your child suffers from food allergies.  Below are some tips to consider prior to the first visit.

1.  When scheduling the appointment, be sure to inform the office of your child’s specific allergies and mention oral aversions if any.  This may help ensure your child’s dental chart is flagged appropriately.  You may even want to request to speak to the dentist before the appointment.

2.  Ask for the ingredient list of all products which might be used during the exam.  Doing so will allow enough time to research each ingredient as oftentimes chemical names are involved.

3.  If your child’s teeth will be treated with fluoride, one of the things that may be helpful to have the fluoride painted on the teeth in order to lessen the amount swallowed.  If swallowed, fluoride could possibly cause intestinal upset.  Be aware that all fluorides have artificial flavorings. Discuss options with your dentist.

4.  Prophy paste is typically used for polishing, an alternative to prophy paste is pure Pumice; using just water can also be an option for polishing.

5.  Toothpaste, polish, and fluoride all have the potential to contain gluten, milk, and nut oils.  The ingredient Recaldent is a milk protein found in common fluoride and tooth polish products such as MI Paste and Prospec MI.  Topical dental anesthetics may also contain added flavorings and dyes which can cause allergic reactions for those with sensitivity.

6.  Check ingredient lists at each dental visit since product formulations change frequently.

7.  Something else to keep in mind, all dental health professionals will have to wear gloves during the exam, but you may ask them to wear non-powdered or latex free gloves if these are an allergen concern for your child.

Asking questions and being your child’s advocate is a good way to support dental health and a positive experience for you and your child.

This article written by: Brenda Incarnato, FPIES mom and reviewed by Robyn Hovseth, Dental Hygenist/FPIES mom.