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?
In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.
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. Contact your dental office for further recommendations and see your dentist as soon as possible.
Are thumb sucking 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 on occasion it may continue past the age of 4. If you have concerns please consult your dentist.
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?
Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. Parents should use a tiny smear of 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 tooth brushing. 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 dental sealants work?
Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities.
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. If that is not possible, 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 digital sensors as well as phosphate plates are utilized to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation. X-rays are a diagnostic tool used to detect cavities, tumors, missing teeth or any abnormalities. Please consult with your dentist regarding any concerns you may have.
How can parents encourage a healthy smile?
Proper oral hygiene, healthy diet and regular visits to the dentist are ways to keep a healthy smile and prevent dental problems. It is important for parents to monitor their child's brushing and flossing habits. Children younger than 8 years old usually do not have the dexterity to brush and floss on their own.
Children, like adults, should visit the dentist on a regular 6-month basis to maintain a cavity-free smile. A professional cleaning and fluoride treatment will help in the prevention program. Sealants are also part of the prevention program. If dental problems such as cavities arise, it can be detected earlier if a child has regular dental visits. Addressing dental problems early on can prevent oral disease and discomfort. Together, home and professional care will help in the prevention of oral problems and result in a great smile for your child.
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.
It takes cavity causing bacteria, sugars and susceptible teeth to create decay. The bacteria utilize the sugars (starchy foods break down into sugars) to produce an acid which creates cavities in the teeth. Children who sip on juices and eat snacks frequently throughout the day are more prone to decay. This is due to the greater amount of time that sugars are exposed to the teeth. Setting aside a set time for the child to eat a meal or a snack is advised. Foods that stick to the chewing surfaces of teeth such as potato chips, crackers and dried fruit should be given less frequently.
** The information provided on this page is for Educational Purposes Only and has not been designed to diagnose, treat or cure any health conditions. Please consult a qualified Health Care Professional and avoid self-diagnosis.