FAQ

How should I clean my baby’s teeth?
For your baby, use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head. Brush your baby’s teeth at least once daily, especially before sleep at night. This ensures that all plaque causing decay is eliminated.

If your child is less than two years old, clean his/her teeth with only a soft toothbrush and water. You should introduce toothpaste only when the child turns 3 years old. Even at this age, use only a bean-sized quantity of toothpaste and supervise the brushing. Make sure your child does not swallow any of the toothpaste.

At what age should my child have his/her first pediatric dental visit?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that all children be seen by a pediatric dentist with the eruption of their first baby teeth or no later than their first birthday.

Why should my child see a pediatric dentist instead of our regular family dentist?
A pediatric dentist is a specialist trained in the maintenance of the dental health of young people. This training is done after dental school for an additional 2 to 3 years. During this period, the pediatric dentist is taken through the rudiments of taking care of dental needs of infants, adolescents, and those with special needs.

What is baby bottle tooth decay and how can I prevent it?
This term is used in describing the type of tooth decay that comes with an extended nursing period. Baby bottle tooth decay develops over time with the bad habit of allowing an infant to go to sleep with a feeding bottle or breast still in his/her mouth. At this time, saliva flow with it self-cleansing power is reduced and milk becomes concentrated in the mouth. Make sure you avoid the habit of feeding a baby to sleep. Use only water as a bedtime drink and teach your child how to drink from a cup towards the first birthday. Wean your baby off the bottle from the age of 12 to 14 months.

Can thumbsucking be harmful for my child’s teeth?
Prolonged sucking of the thumb or pacifier is a habit that should not be encouraged. This habit can cause the development of several dental problems such as crooked teeth, bad bite or crowded teeth. Most children quit this habit on their own, but if it continues until a child’s permanent teeth start to erupt, your pediatric dentist may then prescribe a mouth appliance for the child.

What are dental sealants and how do they work?
Dental sealants are resins used in covering up the serrated or rough surfaces of the teeth. The surfaces of these teeth are very hard to clean and easily trap food particles that are difficult to remove. Sealants help cover up these rough surfaces and prevent the development of cavities. Sealants come in two variants – shaded and clear and are easy to use.

When should my child start using toothpaste?
Do not use fluoridated toothpaste until age 3. Earlier than that, clean your child’s teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. After age 3, parents should supervise brushing. Use no more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and make sure your child doesn’t excess toothpaste.

If my child gets a toothache, what should I do?
Don’t panic. Make the child comfortable and have him/her to rinse their mouth with salty water. If there is swelling of the face, place a cold compress on the face near the affected tooth. You can also wrap some ice in a cloth and use as a cold compress. Give him/her acetaminophen if there is presence of pain, and never use aspirin or any form of heat on the affected area. Call the office if the pain continues.

Is my child getting enough fluoride?
If you live in an area where the tap water is not fluoridated, or the bottled water your child takes is not fluoridated, his/her fluoride intake level may be low. If this is the case, your pediatric dentist may place the child on fluoride supplements. Fluoride is essential for achieving optimal growth and strength of teeth, and minimizes the occurrence of cavities.

How safe are dental X-rays?
The risk of danger from our state-of-the-art dental x-rays is minimal. With the safety measures in place such as high-speed film and lead aprons, the emitted radiation is very small and every effort is made to shield your child even from this small radiation. Even with minimal radiation, the benefits of using dental x-rays far outweigh the consequences of not using them to detect serious dental issues.

My child plays sports. How should I protect my child’s teeth?
There are many types of mouth guard available for your child’s use that match the shape of your child’s top teeth. Sports mouth guards or athletic mouth guards are recommended for any child involved in contact sports for the protection of the cheeks, teeth, lips, and gums from sports injuries. Our pediatric dentists are happy to recommend a mouth guard that best fits your child’s active lifestyle.

When do the first teeth start to erupt?
It is normal to witness an eruption from 6 months of age. The two bottom central incisors are usually the first to show, followed by the two top central incisors. The rest of the baby teeth appear over the course of the next 2 years. By the time a baby is 3 years old, all 20 baby teeth should be showing. The order of appearance is random, not following any particular sequence.

What should I do if my child knocks out a permanent tooth?
You must act fast in order to save the tooth. Without touching the root, pick up the tooth by the crown and rinse well. If you can, replace the tooth in its socket and immobilize with some clean cloth or gauze. Otherwise, put the tooth in a cup of water or milk then call our office immediately.

How can I help my child through the teething stage?
First, know that gum soreness that comes with teeth eruption is normal. You can however make this soreness bearable for the child using teething medications available from your pharmacy. In addition, you may also want to get a cold teething ring for the child.

I noticed a space between my child’s two upper front teeth. Is this cause for concern?
If the space doesn’t close up within a few years, let us know and your pediatric dentist will carry out an evaluation of the condition.

If my child gets a cavity in a baby tooth, should it be filled?
It is very important you know how to take adequate care of your child’s baby teeth. The baby teeth are an important part of any child’s teeth development. It forms a pathway, which the permanent teeth will follow when they are ready to start erupting. baby teeth can last up to 12 years in some children. Failure in giving your child adequate dental care will result in many dental ailments such as teeth loss, jaw/gum infection, pain etc., which can cause tooth decay. Decay of the baby teeth can also spread into permanent teeth.

What causes tooth decay?
Four things are necessary for cavities to form — a tooth, bacteria, sugars or other carbohydrates and time. Dental plaque is a thin, sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone’s teeth. When you eat, the sugars in your food cause the bacteria in plaque to produce acids that attack the tooth enamel. With time and repeated acid attacks, the enamel breaks down and a cavity forms.

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