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Early Dental Care FAQ
If you’re a new parent, then you might have a lot of questions about your child’s oral health because their hygiene is in your hands. Take a look below to find out the answers to some of the most common questions about early dental care and what parents should know about baby teeth.
When should I take my child for the first dentist appointment?
Your child should visit the dentist when his or her first tooth appears typically between 6-12 months, and usually before their first birthday. It is beneficial to get them in for an appointment early so that you and your child can establish a relationship with the dentist. Also, examination done early can prevent problems in the future development of their teeth.
How often does my child need to see the dentist?
Past that first dentist appointment, we recommend checkup about once every six months. However, your dentist can recommend the frequency of visits based on your child’s dental health.
How do I care for my child’s teeth?
- You are responsible for your child and their teeth, so it is never too early to promote good oral health. Here are some general early dental care tips:
- Even before that first tooth pops up, you should be cleaning your child’s gums. After feeding time, wash your baby’s mouth with water and a soft cloth.
- When the first tooth appears and the rest erupt, gently brush with a soft-bristled brush.
- Brush their teeth for them to teach them good techniques. Continue brushing them until they are able to do it properly themselves.
- If your child is under two, put a tiny smear of toothpaste on the brush.
- When they’re 2-5, put a pea-size portion of toothpaste on the brush.
- Look into using fluoride toothpaste which helps protect against tooth decay.
- Make sure your children have a healthy, balanced diet that keeps sugary and starchy foods in moderation.
- For more tips, read our blog post: How Should You Be Caring for Your Children’s Teeth?
What should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?
When your baby’s teeth begin to grow in, you may use a toothbrush that has soft bristles and a small head, preferably one made for infants to use. Brush them at least once a day to remove any plaque bacteria, which can lead to decay.
Why are primary teeth important?
Primary teeth, also known as baby teeth, fall out to make way for the permanent teeth. So some people might wonder why they are important at all. Taking good care of them is critical for your child for a variety of reasons. Primary teeth help children in speech development and assist in chewing their food properly. Plus, a healthy primary tooth paves the way for a healthy permanent tooth.
What should I do if my child has a toothache?
The first thing you should do is to rinse out the irritated area with warm salt water. If it’s swollen, place a cold compress onto the face. If none of this helps the toothache, then seek the attention of a dentist.
How do thumb sucking and pacifiers affect teeth?
When a child begins sucking their thumb or pacifier, it is not usually a cause for concern unless it goes on for a long period of time. Many children stop the habit on their own but if it persists, then it can lead to problems including development of an open bite in which the front teeth don’t erupt fully and are pushed forward. It can also result in an overbite, misaligned jaw, and pronunciation problems. If your child continues to suck their thumb past the age of three, then talk to your dentist who may recommend a mouth piece.
How safe are dental X-rays?
We understand that when it comes to your children’s safety, you don’t want to take any chances. While dental x-rays are mostly necessary to get a comprehensive view of your child’s mouth for diagnosis and treatment, it does come with a small dose of radiation exposure. There is only a small risk involved and your dentist is taking all of the precautions necessary to protect against it, including lead aprons and using high speed film.
What is baby bottle tooth decay and how can I prevent it?
Baby Bottle Decay happens when cavities affect your baby’s primary teeth. It can occur when they fall asleep while breast or bottle feeding which then results in exposure to the sugar in the milk or formula for a longer period of time. During this time, the flow of saliva decreases, which means the natural self-cleansing process in the mouth does not occur properly creating a double-risk. You can protect them against this by simply avoiding putting them to sleep while nursing or try to put water in their bottle when they go to bed. Encourage children to ween off the bottle and drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday.
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Little Rock, AR 72212
Phone: (501) 954-9900