This post from Durham Dental Group is for new parents. You’ve got a lot of new responsibility and a lot to remember. Make sure pediatric dentistry is one of them.
Here is some Q&A about caring for baby and toddle teeth.
How should I clean my toddler’s teeth?
For infants, gently wash their gums with a piece of gauze or soft cloth. The ADA does not recommend any toothpaste for infants. When your child is three, a pea-sized amount (but no more!) is recommended. Young children rarely spit after you brush their teeth, they swallow. When your child’s teeth start to appear, you can use a very soft brush to softly wipe away food and liquid left on the teeth after feeding.
When should my child see a dentist for the first time?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises parents to take their child to a dentist before their first birthday, or when their first tooth appears. This is vital for their oral health and also to help them become comfortable with a dentist from an early age.
What should I do if my toddler has a toothache?
First, call us to make an appointment. Before that you can rinse the sore tooth and surrounding gums with warm salt water. Never put aspirin directly on the tooth, not even children’s aspirin. If your child will let you, use a cold compress on the outside of the cheek to relieve swelling.
How can I prevent my toddler from getting cavities?
- Have your child get a dental check-up every six months.
- Brush your child’s teeth gently but thoroughly before they go to bed.
- If possible, brush your child’s teeth after meals, or have them rinse with water.
- Don’t let your child sleep with a bottle unless it only contains water.
- Don’t let your child drink juice all day – it is best to have juice along with a meal.
- Limit or avoid sugary snacks – especially gummy types that stick to the teeth. (A fresh apple is better than a pack of fruit snacks).
- Consume acidic foods and beverages with meals to guard enamel.
- If your child sucks his/her thumb after the age of three, talk to your dentist or pediatrician.
- If your child grinds his/her teeth, seek guidance from your dentist or pediatrician.
- Make sure your child has a healthy diet with all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
- Follow your dentist’s or pediatrician’s recommendations regarding fluoride supplements and fluoridated water. Remember that too much fluoride is toxic.
- Ask us about dental sealants.
Should I avoid dental x-rays of my child’s teeth?
No. Modern dental x-rays are extremely safe when standard procedures are followed. The diagnostic boon greatly outweighs the almost non-existent risk of detrimental radiation exposure.
If child’s baby teeth are widely spaced, does that mean their permanent teeth will be too far apart?
No, this is normal and does not necessarily mean that their permanent teeth will be spaced too far apart.
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