When should my child first visit the dentist?
We recommend a child’s first dental visit occur when the first tooth appears, or at least by 12 months of age.
How often should my child see the dentist?
The American Dental Association recommends that children have dental checkups every six months. Some children require more frequent visits. The dentist will recommend a recall schedule that is best for your child depending on oral hygiene, tooth decay, presence of orthodontic appliances, or disability.
Why are baby teeth important?
Baby or primary teeth are very important for several reasons. First, primary teeth allow children to speak clearly and chew food naturally. These teeth also help hold space for the permanent teeth as well as help guide the permanent teeth proper position.
When will my child get his / her first tooth?
While timing varies, most babies get their first tooth around 6-8 months of age. Since sore gums can be common when teeth are erupting, we recommend a clean teething ring, cool washcloth, or chilled teething ring to sooth the area.
When will my child lose his / her first tooth?
Children usually lose their first tooth around age six, but this can vary depending on your child. Usually the bottom front teeth are the first to be lost.
How often should my child brush?
We recommend that parents brush their child’s teeth at least twice a day as soon as the first tooth erupts with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Fluoridated toothpaste should be used when the child is able to spit out the excess (usually around 2-3 years of age) or if the parent is able to wipe the excess toothpaste out of the child’s mouth unless recommended differently by their dentist. A small pea-size amount or fluoridated toothpaste should be used and parent’s should always supervise and help their children brush at least until age 7.
How important is flossing?
Flossing is very important in that it removes plaque and trapped food in between your child’s teeth. It is very common for children to get cavities between their teeth. Parents should always help their child floss at least until age 7-8.
How can I prevent nursing decay?
Avoid nursing children to sleep and do not put anything other than water in your child’s bottle or sippy cup at night after their first tooth erupts. Proper brushing and flossing once your child’s teeth erupt will also help.
What should I do if my child has a toothache?
We recommend rinsing the irritated area with warm salt water and then placing a cold compress on the area if their face is swollen. You can also give your child Tylenol or ibuprofen for pain. Never place aspirin directly on the irritated tooth because it can cause a chemical burn. Finally, see a dentist as soon as possible.
Are thumb sucking or pacifier habits harmful for my child’s teeth?
Generally, sucking thumbs, fingers, or pacifiers will only become a problem if they are continued for a prolonged period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but sucking habits should definitely be discouraged by 3 years of age. If your child continues to suck thumbs or fingers after this age, a mouth appliance may be recommended to help stop the habit.
What should I do if my child knocks out a permanent tooth?
First, the most important thing is to remain calm. Assess your child for any broken bones or other injuries and seek immediate medical attention at an emergency room if you suspect any problems. If you can find the tooth, hold it by the crown (the white part that you see in the mouth) and place it back into the socket if possible. If you are unable to place the tooth back in the mouth, put the tooth in milk or your child’s saliva and get to the dentist as soon as possible.