- What’s the correct way to clean my infant’s teeth?
To begin with, you need to use a toothbrush that is really designed for infants. This kind of toothbrush has a small head with soft bristles. Brush their teeth at least once a day, particularly before they sleep at night. Doing so ensures that plaque is removed and tooth decay can be avoided.
- When should I take my child for their first dental visit?
Experts recommend that children be seen by a dentist on or before their first birthday. By this time, they already have at least their two front teeth. Starting dental hygiene early helps protect your child’s oral health and enable them to develop proper dental habits which will be very important as they grow older.
- Why should I take my child to a pediatric dentist instead of a regular dentist?
For kids, it’s important that they have a pediatric dentist because this dental professional is specifically trained to provide dental care and treatment to kids. After dental school, they are trained for an additional 2-3 years so that they become adept in the dental needs of babies, school-age kids, adolescents as well as those with special needs.
- How can I prevent baby bottle tooth decay?
Baby bottle tooth decay is a term we use for tooth decay brought about by an extended nursing period. It often occurs when an infant is allowed to sleep with their baby bottle in their mouth. When they sleep, there is a decrease in saliva flow and production, so milk stays in the mouth. This triggers bacteria and plaque to grow and lead to dental caries. To avoid this problem, do not feed your little one to sleep. Give your child water at bedtime and teach them how to drink their milk or any liquids from a cup before they turn 1. It’s always best to wean off your child from feeding from a bottle between 12-14 months of age.
- Is thumb sucking bad for my child’s teeth?
Thumb sucking or even the prolonged use of a pacifier can lead to several kinds of dental issues including bad bite, crooked teeth or crowded teeth. Most young children quit this habit on their own however if your child still sucks his thumb or pacifier when their permanent teeth are beginning to erupt, you need to discourage this habit. If the problem persists, ask your child’s pediatric dentist to prescribe the appropriate mouth appliance.
- Does my child need dental sealants? How do they work?
Dental sealants are applied by dentists on the surface of the teeth to prevent food particles from getting trapped inside. Sealants are recommend for surfaces that are difficult to clean or are likely to trap particles. If not removed, these food particles can lead to tooth decay. Your child’s pediatric dentist can determine whether dental sealants are necessary. They come in 2 variants – clear and shaded.
- When can my child use toothpaste?
We don’t recommend young kids to use toothpaste until they turn 3. Kids younger than that should only use a soft-bristled tooth brush and water to clean their teeth. After they turn 3, it’s important to teach your child how to brush their teeth using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Keep an eye on your child when brushing their teeth and make sure they don’t swallow excess toothpaste.
- What should I do if my child has a toothache?
If your child’s tooth hurts, it can really be a painful experience for them. But don’t panic, as doing so is not going to help the situation. Make sure your child is comfy and then have them rinse their mouth with salty water. If their face is swollen, apply cold compress on the area that is affected. Give your child acetaminophen to relieve their pain (never aspirin) and take your child to our office as soon as possible.
- How important is fluoride for my child? How will I know if he or she is getting enough fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that the body needs to maintain strong and healthy teeth. Your child’s pediatric dentist is the best person to check if your child is getting enough fluoride. If you live in an area where the water your drink is not fluoridated then it’s possible that your child’s fluoride intake level is less than what’s needed. If this is the case, we can prescribe fluoride supplements for your child.
- Are dental x-rays safe?
Our office uses only the safest dental technology available. We have safety measures in place including the use of high speed film and lead aprons so that the radiation that is emitted is negligible to cause any concern. We take every effort to shield our young patients from radiation. Moreover, the use of dental x-rays have benefits that far outweigh any possible drawbacks of not using it.
- My child is very active in sports. How can I make sure their teeth are protected?
For kids who are active and are fond of playing sports, we recommend mouth guards specifically for this purpose. Mouthguards for kids are comfy and they are made to match the shape of the upper teeth. Athletic mouth guards should be worn by kids who are involved in any kind of contact sports so that their gums, teeth, cheeks and lips are protected from injuries. Get a custom-made mouth guard for your child to ensure a perfect fit.
- When will my child’s teeth start to erupt?
You should notice your child’s teeth beginning to erupt at 6 months of age. The first ones to come out are usually the 2 bottom central incisors. After that, the upper two central incisors will follow. The remaining milk teeth will erupt over the course of 24 months and by the time your child turns 3, all 20 teeth should have come out.
- What should I do if a permanent tooth is knocked out?
You need to act fast if you want to save your child’s tooth. Remember not to touch the root, but pick it up by its crown. Then rinse it properly and if possible, replace it in its socket. Use a clean gauze or cloth to make sure it doesn’t move. If it’s not possible to replace it, put it in a cup of milk or water and then see your child’s dentist ASAP.
- How can I ease my child’s teething?
It’s normal for a baby to feel soreness in the gums when their teeth start to erupt. It can be quite uncomfortable for them but you can make it bearable by buying teething medications in your local drugstore. Getting a cold teething ring also helps.
- My child’s two front teeth have space in between them. Should I be concerned?
Sometimes there will be a bit of space in between children’s two front teeth. If the issue doesn’t resolve by itself after a couple of years, please take your child to a pediatric dentist so it can be evaluated and treated.
- Does a cavity in a baby tooth require filling?
The milk teeth are essential in any child’s teeth development as it can direct the way permanent teeth will grow. This is why you need to inculcate in your child the importance of caring for their teeth. If your child’s milk teeth have cavities, they may need to be filled because decay can spread to permanent teeth as well.
- Why does tooth decay develop in kids?
There are several reasons why kids develop tooth decay. It can be because they don’t have good oral hygiene. It may also be because their diet is filled with sugar and carbs which can lead to dental plaque buildup. If not removed, the plaque can eat away at the tooth enamel and will eventually lead to cavities.