Parents often have a lot of questions about their child’s dental care. Far too many parents rely on Google or simply do not ask for fear of bothering the dentist. At Southern Dental Associates, caring for your child’s smile is our job, and what makes us smile!
Here are some of the top questions parents ask during their child’s dental visit:
1 – Which Toothpaste Should My Child Use?
Children under age six tend to swallow a lot of toothpaste. Parents should choose a low-fluoride or a fluoride-free product to reduce health risks. After age six, most kids stop swallowing and properly spit so switching to a kid’s toothpaste with fluoride is a good idea.
2 – How Do I Brush My Child’s Teeth?
Implementing oral hygiene measures no later than the time of eruption of the first primary tooth. Toothbrushing should be performed for children by a parent twice daily, using a soft toothbrush of age-appropriate size. In children under the age of three, a smear or rice-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste should be used. In children ages three to six, a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste should be used.
Your children’s teeth are especially sensitive. You should gently brush in a circular motion. Never scrub the teeth. Our pediatric dentist will gladly demonstrate the proper way to brush your child’s teeth. Proper brushing reduces poor oral hygiene and oral health concerns.
3 – Should I Floss My Child’s Teeth?
Flossing is a critical component of proper oral hygiene for children. String floss is the traditional type, but floss picks are available. Kids often prefer using floss picks because they’re easier to hold. Plus, kids remove more food particles and grime from between the teeth using the picks.
Children should start flossing when they have two teeth touching. For most children, this happens at age two or three.
4 – How Often Should My Child Visit the Dentist?
The American Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist for the first time by age one. Then, children should see the dentist twice per year. Adhering to the ADA guidelines helps reduce cavities, discoloration, and other oral hygiene and health concerns. Regular visits also encourage a lifetime of good oral health.
More frequent visits may be needed if problems with your child’s oral health occur between the six-month visits.
5 – Should My Child Get Sealants on Their Teeth?
Some kids need sealants, but many will not. If your child has not developed molars by age six, sealants could be helpful. Sealants are not suitable for use on babies and small children. Talk to your child’s dentist to learn more about sealants and if your child can benefit from them being placed over the newly erupted teeth.
6 – How Can I Prevent Cavities & Tooth Decay?
Make sure your child follows a regular routine of brushing and flossing their teeth each day. Over 57% of Americans do not brush their teeth twice daily as recommended by the ADA. Disclude your child from that group of people and make sure toothbrushing is a top priority.
Limit sugar intake for kids. Not only can sugar cause other health concerns, but it also takes its toll on children’s teeth and may lead to cavities and tooth decay.
Since juice contains high amounts of sugar, your child (over age one) should be encouraged to drink water or brush their teeth after consuming juice. Avoid colas as well.
7 – Will My Child Need Braces?
If the dentist has concerns with your child’s overbite, gaps in the teeth, or other similar alignment issues, braces can correct the problem. Braces are not right for every child or situation, however.
Your dentist will perform an X-Ray of your child’s mouth if there is reason to believe their oral health can benefit from dental braces. The dentist may also perform an X-Ray at his or her first visit and if other concerns arise during your child’s appointment.
You should always talk to your child’s dentist about alignment concerns if there are any. Questions get answers and the treatment that keeps your child’s teeth and smile beautiful for a lifetime.
These questions are among the most common that parents have for us at Southern Dental Associates. Of course, there could be dozens of other questions on your mind. Feel free to call our pediatric dentist with your questions or ask us during your child’s visit. Whether the question is included on this list or not, we will provide the answers that you need to maintain your child’s good oral health.