Infant Oral Health Care Guide
Your Child's First Dental Visit
Maintaining Your Child's Oral Health
As a parent, you're in the driver's seat when it comes to the health of your kids' teeth. That's why it's essential to take pediatric dentistry seriously from day one. Luckily, you won't have to make the journey alone. That's what pediatric dentists are for — to help you and your kids get through pediatric dental care with ease and expertise! Because what you do (or don't do) early on can affect your kids' teeth later. Yes, we're talking cavities. But we also mean misaligned teeth and other problems you don't want to subject your kids to. Fortunately, there's tons of information about dentistry for children to get you started on the right path. Our articles provide advice on everything from baby teeth and first dental visits to dental health tips for teens!
Q: How is dentistry for kids different from regular dentistry?
A: Pediatric dentistry (aka dentistry for kids or dentistry for children) is a specialized type of dentistry just for infants, children and teens. Pediatric dentists complete two years of specialized training in addition to regular dental school. Unlike general dentistry for adults, dentistry for kids focuses on proper care of baby teeth as well as permanent teeth, once they start to erupt. Pediatric dental offices are designed with kids' comfort in mind, too. From books, toys and DVD players to pillows, blankets and themed treatment rooms, every effort is made to help your little ones feel safe and cared for.
Q: When should I schedule my child's first pediatric dentistry visit?
A: The basic rule of thumb is by age 1 or by the time your infant's first tooth erupts.
Q: How do I take care of my child's baby teeth?
A: If your child is an infant, dentists typically advise parents to use gauze or a damp washcloth to wipe his or her gums after feedings. When the first tooth erupts, get ready to brush! Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with fluoride-free toothpaste. Start flossing when more teeth start growing in next to each other.
Q: What are some pediatric dental problems I should be aware of?
A: Infants may be vulnerable to baby bottle tooth decay, toddlers to cavities, children to bite problems (or crooked teeth) and teenagers to gum disease. Of course, it's important to remember that dental problems can appear at any age! Establishing good dental care habits — brushing teeth, flossing and dental visits — early on can help your child avoid pediatric dental problems in the future.
Q: What are some common pediatric dentistry treatments?
A: Dental sealants are usually recommended for school-age kiddies as a preventative measure against cavities. Around the teenage years, start bracing yourself for dental braces. A wisdom tooth extraction might also be around the corner.