What should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?
A toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime.
When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?
Your child should see a pediatric dentist when their first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday. This recommendation is for several reasons. Many dental problems can be prevented with appropriate knowledge of proper dental care and regular dental cleanings and exams. Your pediatric dentist will educate you on what to expect in terms of oral development, how to care for your child’s teeth through good dietary habits and oral hygiene, and will answer any questions you may have. Establishing the habit or seeing a dentist from a very early age, typically before any dental caries present, also helps kids build a positive association with dental visits and helps build a relationship of trust between the child and dentist. Thus, if/when treatment is needed down the road, a child is less likely to fear the dentist or have negative associations with dental visits. Establishing a dental home during the first year of a child’s life is very beneficial to a child.
What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?
Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.
Are baby teeth really that important to my child?
Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.
What should I do if my child has a toothache?
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Give the child acetaminophen for any pain, rather than placing aspirin on the teeth or gums. Finally, see a dentist as soon as possible.
Are thumbsucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child’s teeth?
Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of three, steps may need to be taken to help them kick the habit well before their permanent teeth begin to emerge. A bitter tasting polish can be applied to the thumb to discourage thumb sucking. The thumb can be taped or casted making it difficult to suck, or a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.
How can I prevent decay caused by nursing?
Once one year old, wean your child off of nursing. Never send them to bed with a bottle. Once teeth appear, clean teeth daily. Also, learn the proper way to brush and floss your child’s teeth. Take your child to a pediatric dentist regularly to have his/her teeth and gums checked. The first dental visit should be scheduled by your child’s first birthday.
How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?
A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.
Toothpaste: when should we begin using it and how much should we use?
The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. Parents should use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Once children are 3 to 6 years old, then the amount should be increased to a pea-size dollop and perform or assist your child’s toothbrushing. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.
How do I make my child’s diet safe for his teeth?
Make sure your child has a balanced diet. Encourage snacks such as fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, cheeses, and other foods with high nutritional content. Limit servings of processed sugars and starches (i.e. candy, fruit snacks, juice, crackers, goldfish, pretzels, etc). You can also ask your pediatric dentist to help you select foods that protect your children’s teeth.
More: Diet and Dental Health
How do dental sealants work?
Sealants are a preventative measure against cavities. Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This helps prevent food particles from getting caught in these crevasses, leading to chewing surface cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years.
How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?
Have your pediatric dentist evaluate the fluoride level of your child’s primary source of drinking water. If your child is not getting enough fluoride internally through water (especially if the fluoride level is deficient or if your child drinks bottled water without fluoride), then your pediatric dentist may prescribe fluoride supplements.
What can I do to protect my child’s teeth during sporting events?
Soft plastic mouthguards can be used to protect a child’s teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sport related injuries. A custom-fitted mouthguard developed by a pediatric dentist will protect your child from injuries to the teeth, face and even provide protection from severe injuries to the head.
What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?
The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. Then contact your pediatric dentist for further guidance. If that is not possible to reinsert the tooth, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the pediatric dentist.
How safe are dental X-rays?
There is very little risk in dental X-rays. Pediatric dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.
How can parents help prevent tooth decay?
Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.
What is the best toothbrush for kids 9-13? Do you recommend the Sonic?
By the time your child reaches 9-10 years old, many adult teeth are now present and an adult toothbrush/toothpaste can be used. Any soft-bristled toothbrush should be used two times a day for two minutes. More important than the type of toothbrush used is the effort and time put into brushing and flossing.