Currently, the Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that it is best for young children to visit the same dental office if possible for the majority of their oral hygiene care. This is because establishing a dental home allows children to feel more comfortable talking to their dentist, and seeing the same person regularly allows for more consistent care. When parents only take their child to the dentist to deal with a problem, it tends to generate a negative relationship. This is why regular exams and cleanings are important. Receiving a good report after a checkup or just spending a few minutes learning how to floss properly promotes positive feelings. This will make it easier for kids to handle going to the dentist when there is an actual problem to address.
Is It Really Necessary to Care For Baby Teeth?
Families often hear from other people that baby teeth are unimportant since they fall out anyway. Unfortunately, this is a complete myth, and skimping on oral health in these formative years can lead to big problems. Baby teeth play an important role as placeholders for adult teeth, and losing them too early can lead to a need for braces later on due to crookedness and overcrowding. These early teeth also allow your child an opportunity to develop oral health care habits that last a lifetime. Therefore, you will want to begin brushing as soon as that first tiny tooth comes in.
When Should My Child See a Pediatric Dentist For the First Time?
It is never too early to bring your child in for their first dental appointment. Typically, it is best to bring your baby in as soon as their first tooth appears. However, making an appointment before their first birthday is best since it allows them to start acclimating to being in a dental office early in life.
How Do I Clean Baby Teeth?
Naturally, your child won’t be ready to brush their own teeth until they are older, and you should still expect to give assistance until your child reaches the age of seven. For babies, you can start an oral hygiene routine before the teeth come in by wiping their gums with a clean washcloth after feedings. Once the first tooth emerges, you can use a washcloth or a soft finger brush to gently clean it. As your child grows, you will then be able to switch to a children’s toothbrush and toothpaste. It is also a good idea to increase your knowledge by talking to your child’s dentist about how to handle each stage of your child’s oral development.
What Should I Expect With Teething?
Teething usually begins around the time a baby is three to 12 months old, and it simply involves the natural process of your child’s primary teeth breaking through the gums. When this happens, you may notice a sudden increase in drooling, or your baby may seem to lose their appetite. Sleepless nights due to the discomfort of the tooth breaking through the gum line are also normal. You should also be aware that some babies run a slightly higher temperature than normal, but it should never get extremely high. If you have concerns about teething such as obvious pain or a blister in your child’s mouth, then your pediatric dentist can help you find ways to ease their discomfort.
When Will My Baby Stop Teething?
For the most part, you will notice that your baby’s teeth come in pairs, and it is usually the top two on the top or bottom that make their appearance first. Children will continue teething periodically until they are about two to three years old. This is when their final primary set of molars come in.
How Can I Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?
When cavities occur in infants or toddlers, it is referred to as baby bottle tooth decay. This is because it is usually caused by milk pooling around the baby’s teeth. This is why it is important to avoid putting your baby to sleep with a bottle that could be left in their mouth inadvertently. It is also helpful to wipe your child’s baby teeth with an infant brush or washcloth after feedings. Regular dental exams can also catch these cavities early enough that further damage can be prevented.
What Are Dental Sealants And Are They Necessary?
Regular tooth brushing is great at removing larger food particles and plaque that accumulates in your mouth. However, a toothbrush bristle is not small enough to fit into the tiny grooves and fissures that exist in the teeth. Since the back molars tend to have more grooves and brushing back there is harder, most dentists recommend placing sealants on them during early childhood or adolescence. A sealant is simply a plastic material that sinks into the grooves and bonds with the tooth. Once sealants are applied, they essentially work as a barrier to keep food and plaque out of the areas of your child’s teeth that are difficult to clean.
Is Thumb Sucking a Concern For Oral Health?
Many children suck their thumbs for self-comfort, and it is a hard habit to break. Unfortunately, frequent thumb sucking can lead to tooth alignment issues that may require braces to correct as a child matures. Talk to your dentist about ways to discourage thumb sucking. Make sure they know about the habit so that they can be on the look out for signs of a developing tooth alignment problem.
When Are Mouth Guards Necessary?
Increasing your knowledge about how to keep your kid’s teeth safe is important for preserving their smile. Night guards are sometimes prescribed by dentists to ease the strain on teeth that happens if your child grinds them as they sleep. If your child plays sports, then they may also be provided with a mouth guard. This helps protect them from trauma such as cracked teeth and soft tissue injuries that occur with blunt force. It is always best to encourage your child to wear their mouth guard as prescribed and follow all instructions for cleaning and hygiene.
Will My Kid Need Their Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth are the final and trickiest ones to come in. To determine if your child’s wisdom teeth needs removing takes an expert dentist. For some kids, there is plenty of room in the mouth and wisdom teeth come in with only mild discomfort. However, wisdom teeth can also be impacted and place a child at risk for infections and decay so make sure to discuss this with their dentist.
At KinderSmiles we consider ourselves a partner with parents when it comes to the shared goal of promoting positive oral health experiences. We love talking teeth. Give us a call today to find out the answers to all of your questions about protecting your child’s oral health.
KinderSmiles Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
400 Kinderkamack Rd
Oradell, NJ 07649