Q – When should my child see the dentist?
A – When your child gets their first tooth or their 1st birthday, whichever comes first. It is a quick and easy visit to get your child acquainted with the dental office and check eruption patterns and growth and development.
Q – Are baby teeth really that important? Won’t they just fall out?
A – The baby or primary teeth are very important to a child. The teeth allow the child to chew and speak naturally. Also, the primary teeth are vital in guiding the permanent teeth into the proper position during eruption.
Q – How do I clean my child’s teeth?
A – A soft bristle toothbrush for your child’s age is perfect to move away the plaque bacteria that cause cavities. This should be done twice a day, especially before bed.
When the teeth are erupting, it is important to start using toothpaste. Training toothpaste without fluoride can be used until the child is able to brush without swallowing any toothpaste; fluoridated toothpaste should be used as soon as possible. Enough paste to color the bristles can be used for children less than two years of age. After two years, a pea-sized amount can be used.
*It is very important parents and caretakers understand children do not have the ability to effectively brush their own teeth. They will need help and supervision to make sure they brush every tooth and spit out excess paste.
Q – Can cavities be prevented?
A – Several steps can be taken to help prevent tooth decay or cavities.
Always ensure your child goes to bed with a clean mouth; therefore, no nursing or bottled feeding to sleep.
Sippy cups should only contain water; sugary drinks, such as milk or juice (even watered down) are a constant dosage of sugar with each sip that can lead to decay. Proper brushing and flossing techniques will also benefit the child – ask your dental office.
Regular dental checkups can help prevent or monitor progression of the decay process.
Q – How do I know if my child is getting the proper amount of fluoride?
A – The dentist can evaluate the fluoride level in your primary source of drinking water. Most filtered and bottled water do not contain fluoride. If the child isn’t getting enough fluoride in their drinking water, then fluoride supplements may be prescribed.
Q – What are dental sealants?
A – Sealants are a resin material used to fill in the grooves and creases of the chewing surfaces of permanent teeth to keep food from getting caught and stuck on the tooth. Placing sealants is quick and comfortable; the child will not need to be numb for the sealants to be placed.
Q – My child bumped their tooth. What should I do?
A – Stay calm. Trauma to a primary or permanent tooth can be painful and will need to be evaluated by a dentist.
With primary teeth, you can expect a change in tooth color, looseness, bleeding and swelling, and pain. Watch closely for any of the following habits: change in eating or sleeping habits, gum boils, or increased swelling looseness or pain.
Q – What if my child breaks a tooth?
A – Fracture of a permanent tooth can mean several things. The first thing is to have the tooth evaluated by your dentist to see where the tooth has fractured. The treatment and prognosis for the tooth will be determined after an exam and x-ray.
Starting a child early with regular dental exams and care can mean a lifetime of better oral health. From the time of a child’s first tooth, the pediatric dentist can help start patterns of eating and hygiene that can protect against early tooth decay, as well as tooth alignment and gum problems in adulthood.
In addition to regular cleanings, a pediatric dentist can apply sealants to protect young teeth from decay. The dentist can also help select mouth guards to prevent sports injuries and provide timely diagnosis and treatment of orthodontic problems. Timberview Family Dentistry in Oklahoma City welcomes children of all ages and will make their visit more fun! Call us at (405) 737-0404 to schedule an appointment today!