Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When should I begin brushing my child's teeth?

A: As early as you are able.  Soon after birth, you can gently clean and massage your child’s gums with a soft infant brush or a clean wet cloth.

When your child erupts her first tooth, begin brushing twice a day with a "smear" of toothpaste or a training toothpaste with a mild flavor

Q: How do I prevent baby bottle tooth decay?

A: Baby bottle tooth decay, or Early Childhood Caries can be serious and often painful.

Parents should offer the bottle only at feeding times and avoid giving children juice or sweetened drinks from a bottle.

Feed only formula, breast milk or water from a bottle.

It is important to remember that children should not fall asleep with a bottle with anything other than water in it.  Offer juice only in a cup with meals or at snack time.

If your child uses a pacifier, resist the temptation to dip the pacifier in anything sweet, like honey or sugar.

Q: How long should my child use a bottle?

A: Children should be able to drink with a cup by 12 to 14 months of age. Introduce a cup slowly when your baby is able to sit up. You may want to begin by offering a sippy cup with juice milk or formula. Then transition to a regular cup as they are able to keep their grasp on it. Be patient.  Babies will not want to give up bottles all at once.

To limit exposure to cavity-causing sugars carbohydrates, never let your child walk around with a sippy cup or bottle unless it only has water in it.

Q: What types of foods are good for dental health?

A: Snack smart for good dental health. Choose snacks like cheese, fruit or popcorn.

Avoid pastries, cake, candy, sticky dried fruits, cookies, syrup, honey, jelly, and crackers.

Q: Does my child need fluoride supplements?

A: Flouride supplements may be recommended for children under age six.  Before considering any fluoride supplement,  be aware that too much fluoride can be problematic as well as low fluoride situations.  Because flouride is found in local water supplies, infant formula, beverages and toothpaste, your dentist will evaluate fluoride exposure from these sources prior to adding a supplement.

Q: What should I do if my toddler has injured his teeth?

A: When children start to enjoy their new mobility, falls are inevitable. Take precautions to avoid or pad the most likely areas that children will bump into.

If a fall occurs, most often little ones will bump their two front teeth.

If there is bleeding, apply a cold, wet compress.  Also apply something cold if bruising occurs.

Notice any change in the position of the teeth and report this immediately to your pediatric dentist.

If a tooth is lost, call us right away. Your child may need to be seen in this situation, or we will talk to the tooth fairy.

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