Happy National Children’s Dental Health Month! It is a common trait among parents to put their children’s health concerns above their own. So for my first blog post,what better topic to address than some of the most common questions parents have about their children’s teeth?
Question : What kind of toothbrush/paste should I use to clean my infant or child’s teeth?
Answer: All children should use soft-bristled brushes, and children under the age of three would be best served by toothbrushes with a smaller head, designed especially for infants.
Although parents may be concerned about fluoridated toothpaste for infants, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry now recommends fluoridated toothpaste for children of all ages. For children under three, a small smear of toothpaste will suffice, while children over the age of 3 can use a pea-sized amount. All children should always spit toothpaste out rather than swallow it. If you find that your child is unable to spit, you may have them use a fluoride free toothpaste just until they are old enough to spit.
Question: At what age should my child start seeing the dentist?
Answer: We love kids at Wave Dental and are happy to see children as young as 6 months old! Children should see the dentist once their first tooth appears, or at least by their first birthday.
Question: Do I really need to take care of my child’s cavities? Don’t the baby teeth fall out anyway?
Answer: While baby teeth do fall out naturally when it is time for the adult teeth to come in, this does not mean that they can be ignored!
Although some of the front teeth fall out when children are as young as 6, the baby molars, or back teeth, have an important purpose to serve in chewing and typically do not fall out until a child is 11 or 12, so not all baby teeth are the same!
Allowing baby teeth to decay without treatment can have several negative effects. First, the cavity may reach the nerve of the tooth, where it can cause a painful infection, which not only causes you and your child stress and misery, but can end up requiring extraction of the tooth before its time. This, in turn, can disrupt the spacing of your child’s teeth, leading to problems in the alignment of the adult, or permanent, teeth.
That’s it for now! If you have further questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office to schedule an appointment. My staff and I are always happy to address any concerns you have with you or your child’s oral health!
-Ayham Nahhas, D.D.S.