Parents who come into our practice have one thing in common: they want what’s best for their kids. This is our goal, too. Because we want to do all we can to help, we decided to answers 5 common dental questions we get in our office. After all, who better to answer than an experienced pediatric dentist?
An Experienced Pediatric Dentist Answers 5 Common Dental Questions
While there are many questions parents ask their children’s dentist, there are five common questions we answer regularly.
1. How Important are Dental Visits?
When kids see a pediatric dentist, they have a fighting chance at avoiding dental pain and loss of teeth. As they get older, dental care and visits to a children’s dentist will help promote good overall health.
As a parent, you can set a great example with regular dental visits and by practicing good care at home. Something we recommend often is to make brushing time fun. The whole family can brush and floss together while listening to the radio or playing dental games.
The more fun a family has together, the more likely dental care at home will become a daily habit for both parents and children.
2. When Should I Start Brushing My Child’s Teeth?
We recommend that parents start caring for their child’s oral health as soon as they come home from the hospital. The sugars in breast milk – as well as fruit juice, formula, and other milks – can promote bacterial build up. When the child’s teeth come in, these sugars and bacteria cause decay.
Before a child has teeth, gently wipe their gums with a damp washcloth after they drink milk. Once the child has teeth, use a soft, child-sized toothbrush to brush away food debris and plaque.
Starting early will help the child recognize the importance of dental care and promote a healthy homecare routine.
3. Are Baby Teeth Really that Important?
Baby teeth may not seem that important since they end up falling out in a few years, but the fact is these small teeth are extremely important. Here’s why.
- These teeth help your children chew food properly, which is the first step towards healthy digestion.
- Baby teeth act as guides and space maintainers for the permanent teeth. If a child looses a tooth too soon, the teeth start to shift to fill in the empty space. It is difficult for the adult teeth to come in where they’re supposed to.
- The baby teeth help a child speak properly.
- Teeth are like anchors. Without them, the jaw will not form properly, which can put adult teeth at risk. Without enough bone, the adult teeth won’t have a strong foundation.
4. How Often Should My Child See a Pediatric Dentist?
We recommend parents bring their kids in to see us every six months. It doesn’t take much for primary teeth to decay, simply because they are so small.
Regular visits to a pediatric dentist will help us find decay in its early stages and get it taken care of quickly and easily. These visits also allow us to review teeth care instructions. We can also give your child treatments and tools which will help prevent decay.
5. Will My Child Need Kids Braces?
Your child may likely need kids braces. Whether a child needs braces or not depends upon heredity, how the adult teeth are forming in the jaw bone, and whether or not they have any harmful practices like thumb sucking.
Thumb sucking is harmful because it can cause changes in the roof of their mouth, as well as change the way the adult teeth come into the mouth. Thumb sucking can also negatively impact a child’s speech.
Regular Visits to a Children’s Dentist: Vital to Your Child’s Health
Regular visits to a pediatric dentist are very important. These visits train your kids to take care of their teeth and help them stay out of pain.
Visits to a children’s dentist also promote good overall health. Studies have linked decay and gum disease to other harmful diseases. By seeing a dentist regularly and practicing good care, you’re giving your child the gift of a healthier future.
source: “5 Common Dental Questions Answered by an Experienced Pediatric Dentist” kidshappyteeth.com, Web May 18th, 2018.
For more articles on dental health, see our main blog page.