Teeth problems are an inevitable part of growing up. Many children and their parents have questions about how to manage these problems and take care of teeth. It is often difficult to find the right answers to these questions, so here are our answers to all the common questions regarding childhood dental health.
1. What is the right time to take my child for their first dental appointment?
Your child needs a dentist as soon as he or she gets their teeth. While it is ideal to visit a dentist when the first little tooth pops out, you should not delay a dental checkup after their first birthday. A dentist can offer you tips for better care of the teeth and for dealing with the difficulty faced during the teething periods.
1. Is a pediatric dentist the same as a general dentist?
A general dentist works with all age groups, while a pediatric dentist specializes in working with kids. Just as it is preferable that you take your kid to a pediatrician rather than a general physician, it is better to consult a pediatric dentist. The reason behind this is that pediatric dentists go through an additional two or three years of specialized training after dental school to learn how to treat the dental health problems of all children from infants to adolescents.
2. Do I need to keep my baby’s teeth healthy?
You may think that maintaining your baby’s dental health is not important because those teeth are temporary. However, you should take every measure to keep them as well-maintained and healthy as possible. Regular dental visits and good oral hygiene habits are crucial. Baby teeth serve several purposes – they help your child chew, speak clearly, and even function as guideposts for their adult teeth to grow in the right places.
3. My child has a toothache. What should I do?
The first steps that you can take are rinsing the area using warm saltwater. Make your child spit out the saltwater and not swallow it. You can also use a cold compress on your child’s face if there is swelling. You should visit a pediatric dentist if the pain persists.
4. How much toothpaste should I use on my child’s teeth?
Your child’s toothpaste should have fluoride, but too much exposure to it may cause white spots (fluorosis) on his incoming adult teeth. For babies and toddlers, a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste should be enough. When your child reaches the age of 3, it is safe to increase the toothpaste amount to a pea-sized dollop. After age 6, they usually become sensible enough to use appropriate amounts of toothpaste, but do supervise them to ensure that they spit the excess toothpaste after brushing instead of swallowing it. Parents and caretakers like you need to know how to take care of your children’s teeth so that you can maintain those cute, healthy smiles while they are growing. If you want to know more, you can visit a pediatric dentist with your child!