If you’ve never taken your child to the dentist before you probably have a few questions. For parents and guardians dealing with their child’s oral health for the first time, here are a few commonly asked questions and their answers.
What Is a Kids Dentist?
Pediatric dentists specialize in doing dental work on your childs teeth. They have an additional few years of specialized training after leaving dental school in which they learn specifics of dental procedures for children and teens. They are primary and specialty providers for infants and children through their teen years. This also includes helping kids and teens with special health needs.
What’s the Importance of Baby Teeth?
Baby teeth are for more than just a “souvenir” to keep in your child’s baby book. They act as a tool to help them chew and eat for proper nutrition. They also provide a space for permanent teeth to come in later in life in the correct position. Along with eating and providing a space, they also permit normal jaw bone and muscle development. They even play a key role in making sure your child has proper speech development.
When Should Toothpaste Be Used?
All dentists will tell you that the sooner you introduce toothpaste, the better. Parents can start cleaning their child’s gums before the first tooth even comes in. Good dental care can start as soon as your baby’s teeth are visible, which typically begins at approximately four months of age. Initially, you may want to use a washcloth to clean your child’s teeth and eventually move to a small toothbrush. Before they reach the age of three, use a rice-sized amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush. When your child reaches three-years-old, the amount of toothpaste can be increased to a pea-sized amount. It’s important to remember that young children aren’t able to properly brush their teeth, so parental supervision is key. This includes making sure that your child spits out the toothpaste and doesn’t swallow any excess after brushing.
If you’ve never taken your child to the dentist, you might have a few questions. This is common. If you have any specific questions, reach out to your dental pediatrician.