That’s why we’re rounding up a few of the most common questions we hear and providing the answers in an FAQ! If these questions have been burning in your mind, we’ve got your answers here!
A child can benefit from a dentist as soon as their first tooth appears! That’s why we recommend bringing them to see us around six months old (and no later than their first birthday). The earlier you bring them in, the more advice we can offer on taking care of incoming baby teeth and managing those difficult teething periods.
If our kids are just going to lose their baby teeth in a few years anyway, does it really matter if they get cavities? A lot of parents think this way, but that’s something we discourage. Just because baby teeth are temporary doesn’t mean they’re not important. Baby teeth are essential for chewing food, learning to speak clearly, and mastering lifelong dental health habits like brushing and flossing. They also guide the adult teeth into place!
A good way to soothe the ache is to have your child swish (but not swallow) some warm salt water. You can also apply a cold compress to their face and give them children’s Tylenol (to ingest, not as a topical treatment). These should all be temporary measures until you can bring them in to see us.
They aren’t bad at all — at first. These habits can become an oral health concern in time, if they continue them beyond age three, but most children grow out of them on their own. After age three, it’s time to start thinking about strategies for discouraging the habit. If you’d like suggestions, we can help with that.
It’s important not to use too much toothpaste when brushing a young child’s teeth, because that can lead to fluorosis (discoloration) in the incoming adult teeth. All you need is a tiny smear of toothpaste when brushing a baby’s or toddler’s teeth, and a dab the size of a pea is enough for ages 3-6. Also make sure you’re encouraging them to spit it out instead of swallowing!
There are many specialties in dentistry, and pediatric dentistry is one of them. We go through an additional two to three years of training after dental school to learn everything we need to know to be able to address the dental health concerns unique to babies, children, and teenagers, so take advantage of our expertise by bringing your kids to see us!
If your biggest questions about pediatric dentistry weren’t on our list, don’t hesitate to ask us anyway! We want all parents to be as educated as possible on children’s dental health concerns so that they can give their kids the best chance at lifelong healthy smiles!