Promoting Your Child's Good Oral Health
Questions About Dental Care
1. Why are baby teeth important to my child?
Milk teeth or baby teeth are important as they help children chew naturally and speak with clarity. They save space for the permanent teeth, guiding them into their proper position.
2. What should be used to clean my baby's teeth?
Start cleaning your newborn’s gums by wiping them with a soft cloth or by using a soft toothbrush and water. Once teeth begin to appear, consider using a soft toothbrush with a small head at least once a day. Brushing twice a day is even better.
3. Should toothpaste be used?
The ADA recommends using toothpaste with fluoride once you start using a soft toothbrush. Children under 2 just need a smear of toothpaste to clean their teeth, while children ages 3 to 5 can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Parents should assist their young kids to effectively brush their teeth, making sure they spit out the toothpaste.
4. When should my child’s first dental appointment be?
According to the ADA, AGD, and AAPD, you should take your child for a first dental visit by age 1 or once that first tooth appears. Do not wait for a dental emergency to strike before setting an appointment with a dentist as this could turn into a traumatic experience.
5. Should bedtime bottles or bedtime nursing be avoided?
To avoid tooth decay, refrain from putting your kids to bed with a bottle of milk or sugared drinks. The sugar stays on the teeth, resulting in tooth decay. Only fill the bottle with water. After feeding, wipe your child’s gums with a soft damp cloth.
6. What if my child has a toothache?
You can rinse the affected area with warm saltwater and place a cold compress over the sore area to help reduce pain. Have your child take acetaminophen and give us a call.
7. Can thumb sucking and pacifier use damage my child’s teeth?
A pacifier or thumb-sucking habit is hard to break. While most stop by themselves, the damage occurs over a prolonged period of time. For older kids, using a mouth appliance is recommended to stop the habit.
8. How often should my child see the dentist?
It is recommended to visit the dentist for a regular dental checkup every 6 months.
9. How do I create a healthy diet for my child’s teeth?
Prepare healthy, balanced meals for your child. Encourage them to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, and calcium and protein-rich foods. Limit their sugar and starch intake.
10. How do dental sealants work?
Dental sealants reduce the risk of tooth decay. This preventive dentistry treatment is easy to apply and lasts for many years. A tooth-colored coating is applied to the tooth surface, effectively sealing the pits and grooves and preventing tooth decay.
11. Is my child getting enough fluoride?
Dentists can evaluate the fluoride level of your primary source of drinking water. Fluoride supplements may be prescribed. Daily brushing with fluoride-containing toothpaste is also recommended.
12. How can I protect my child's teeth during sporting events?
A well-fitting mouth guard can help protect your child’s teeth, jaw, lips, cheeks, and gums from sports-related injuries.
13. What should I do if my child loses a permanent tooth?
Stay calm and handle the tooth carefully. Do not touch the root. Rinse it with milk. If possible, reposition the tooth back into the socket. Keep the tooth moist and give us a call.
14. Is dental digital radiography safe?
Dental x-rays have very low doses of radiation. A lead apron is worn to protect against unnecessary exposure to radiation.