Patients ask what age is the best to bring your child in for their first dental visit, which toothpaste is the best toothpaste, when should they be losing their baby teeth, among many other questions. This blog will answer many common questions that parents have regarding the oral health of their child.
In our office we recommended that the first dental visit with your child be at about the age of about three years old. We like to have that first visit be as easy and relaxed for your young patient. The procedures completed at this visit will depend on the cooperation and maturity of each individual child. Some 3 year olds will have a full cleaning, exam and x-rays while others may only be ready for a “happy visit”. This would include counting the teeth, taking a ride in our dental chair and learning to feel comfortable with our office. Our goal is to make the first visit as pleasant as possible so as to create fond memories that will set the stage for future appointments.
What type of toothbrush and toothpaste should my child be using? Toothbrushes are labeled and sold according to age groups starting at the age a tooth first erupts. See the packaging label to find the correct brush. A small brush head with soft or extra soft bristles is best. Be sure to replace the brush every three months or after any illnesses. Younger children should use toothpaste with little to no fluoride content. Ingesting too much fluoride could cause an upset stomach. Brushing should be performed at least twice daily. Adult assistance may be necessary as motor skills are still developing. Don’t forget to floss! Floss once daily. Floss aids may be a big help until adolescence.
Children begin to lose their baby teeth and grow their adult teeth around the age of 6 years old and will continue that cycle through the age of 13. Each child is on their on schedule and teeth erupt at different times. Regular dental visits will allow your dentist and hygienist to monitor their progress.
Because it is not the amount of sugar that is consumed, it is the amount of time that the mouth is exposed to the sugar that causes dental decay, the consumption of juice and milk (which both contain sugar) should be limited and not sipped before bed or over longer periods of time. Keeping juice and milk in the mouth over a long period of time creates the perfect environment for dental decay. While rinsing with or drink water after meals, snacks, fruit juice and milk to help rinse cavity causing bacteria away, the best method to eradicate the cavity causing bacteria is to brush and floss. Baby teeth can get cavities too! Do your best to keep your child healthy.
I welcome any questions or comments.