Do I need to clean my baby’s teeth?

You can use a toothbrush with a small head, one designed for infants, or a wet wash cloth to remove plaque. Do not use toothpaste during infancy. Brushing at least once a day, at bedtime, will be adequate.


Why should my child see a pediatric dentist instead of our general family dentist?

Pediatric dentistry is a dental specialty that focuses on children from infancy through their young adult years. A pediatric dentist has two years additional training in working with children and those with special health needs.


What is baby bottle mouth? Can it be prevented?

Baby bottle mouth is rapid decay associated with prolonged nursing and drinking sugary substances from a bottle. It occurs when a child is put to sleep while breast-feeding and/or bottle-feeding. The flow of saliva slows down while sleeping, and allows sugar to sit on the teeth. When putting your child to bed try giving them a bottle with water only.


Is thumbsucking harmful for my child’s teeth?

Thumb and pacifier sucking can be good for the first few months, but over an extended period of time it can lead to crooked teeth or bite problems. If your child continues thumbsucking after their permanent front teeth have erupted, an appliance may be recommended to help your child stop the habit. Most children will stop on their own.


What are dental sealants?

The sealant is a clear liquid that is placed in the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, which are hard to clean. Once the sealant is placed and cured it turns to a clear plastic coating to help keep them cavity-free. Sealants are painless to apply and can protect teeth for many years.


Should I use toothpaste?

We usually recommend starting fluoridated toothpaste at age 2 or when they are able to spit out the toothpaste. Earlier than that, clean your child’s teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush or non-fluoride toothpaste. Only use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and make sure your child does not swallow excess toothpaste.


What should I do if my child gets a toothache?

Try alternating between giving your child Tylenol and Ibuprofen. You can apply a cold compress on your child’s face if it is swollen. Do not put heat on the sore area. Contact our office as soon as possible.


Is my child getting enough fluoride?

Fluoride will decrease your child’s chances of getting cavities by making teeth stronger. The easiest way to get fluoride is by drinking water. If your child drinks bottled water without fluoride, or your city does not have fluoride in their water, we can prescribe fluoride supplements.


Are dental X-rays safe?

We use lead aprons and digital films to help reduce the amount of radiation received. Radiation from a dental x-ray is extremely small. We are very careful to minimize the exposure of radiation to your child.


When will my child’s first teeth erupt?

At about 6 months the two lower front teeth will erupt, followed shortly by the two upper central incisors. The remainder of the baby teeth will erupt during the next 18 to 24 months but not always in an orderly sequence. By age 2 to 3 years, all 20 primary teeth should be present.


What if my child knocks out a permanent tooth?

If possible, find the tooth and replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there until you can get medical attention. If you are unable to put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a container of milk and contact us as soon as possible. The faster you seek medical attention, the better chance you will have of saving the tooth.


If my child gets a cavity in a baby tooth, should it still be filled?

Baby teeth are very important with speech and helping to form a path for the permanent teeth to follow when they are ready to erupt. If a decayed baby tooth is left untreated it can result in pain, infection of the gums and jaws, and premature loss of teeth. Some baby teeth are present until your child is 12 years old.


What causes tooth decay?

Plaque is a sticky, thin, colorless build-up of bacteria that forms on everyone’s teeth. The sugar in your food causes the bacteria in plaque to produce acids that attack the tooth enamel. With time the enamel breaks down and a cavity forms.