Tips & Advice
What are the most common dental problems in children?
The most common dental problems in children are:
Thumb sucking is not specifically a dental problem, but it can cause a malocclusion, a condition where the top and bottom teeth don't line up correctly.
- Bad breath
- Gum disease
- Sensitive teeth
- Canker sores
- Missing teeth
- Extra teeth
- Bite and alignment issues
What is the best way to clean a baby's teeth?
To clean a baby's teeth, use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush designed specifically for infants. Apply a tiny amount of non-fluoride toothpaste - about the size of a grain of rice - and gently brush all sides of the teeth and the tongue.
Before the baby's first teeth emerge, use gauze or a wet washcloth wrapped around the finger to wipe the gums. This motion doesn't necessarily reduce bacteria, but it does help the infant to get used to the sensation of having his or her teeth cleaned.
How often should children see their pediatric dentist?
Children should visit their pediatric dentist every six months. This recommended frequency does not change throughout a person's lifetime.
Do all children need to have their wisdom teeth removed?
No, wisdom teeth do not need to be removed unless they cause pain, lead to dental issues, or are aligned incorrectly.
Can dental sealants prevent cavities?
Yes, dental sealants prevent cavities by filling in deep grooves in the teeth. Without them, bacteria can collect in these areas and cause tooth decay, which can happen with children.
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants fill in the deep grooves on the chewing surfaces of teeth. They're primarily seen on the premolars and molars, the flat-topped teeth in the back of the mouth. The American Dental Association recommends that kids receive dental sealants as soon as their adult teeth erupt.
Should baby teeth be brushed even though they fall out?
Yes, baby teeth are incredibly important to a child's development and should be cared for like adult teeth. Children with decayed baby teeth are at a higher risk of nutritional deficiencies and poor speech development. In addition, baby teeth prepare the pathways for adult teeth to grow, so any early issues could cause the permanent set to come in crooked.
How is a pediatric dentist different than a regular dentist?
Pediatric dentists attend to the oral health of children of all ages, from infants to teenagers. They complete four years of dental school and participate in two years of specialized residency training. Pediatric dentists provide oral health exams, preventative care, and early orthodontic services. Regular dentists are not as specialized and primarily care for adults.
When should children start using toothpaste?
Children should start using toothpaste as soon as their first teeth start to show. Parents can purchase a toothbrush specifically for infants and brush their child's teeth twice daily with a small amount of toothpaste. Since children that young can’t usually spit, there are children’s toothpastes that do not have fluoride, so they can be swallowed Once the child turns 3 , parents should start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
What is the appropriate age for a child's first dental appointment?
Children should have their first dental appointment within six months of the appearance of their first tooth or before their first birthday, whichever event occurs first.