As a parent, it can be a little intimidating to be responsible for your children's health, let alone their dental health. When to make the first visit, questions about fluoride in your area, and keeping your children's teeth healthy can all be concerns for every parent. Here is a quick go-to guide for some of the most commonly asked questions for parents about your child's dental needs.
Q: When should I schedule my child's first dental office visit?
A: According to the American Academy for Pediatric Dentistry, by age one. Your visit will probably be short and involve very little treatment. Your dentist will examine your child's teeth, bite, jaw, gums and other oral tissues. You'll probably talk with your dentist about oral hygiene, nutrition, teething, fluoride needs and oral habits (like thumb sucking, tongue thrusting, bottles and sippy-cups, etc.)
Q: How often should I take my child to the dentist?
A: As a rule of thumb, you should take your child every six months for check-ups and cleanings. Staying consistent with these visits will reduce your child's dental anxiety and allow for you and your dental team to stay on top of any issues that may arise in your child's mouth.
Q: Should I use fluoride toothpaste for my child?
A: The American Dental Association recently published a study recommending the use of fluoride toothpaste, but no more than the size of a pea for ages 3-6 and the size of a grain of rice for children under 3 years of age.
Q: Does my child need fluoride supplements?
A: It depends on the fluoride concentration in your water. Your dentist will know whether local water supplies contain optimal levels of fluoride in your specific area. If they do not, you dentist may prescribe fluoride drops, tablets or vitamins if your child is over six months old.
Q: What can I do to keep my child's teeth healthy?
A: Start a brushing routine early.
- As soon as the baby's first tooth erupts, if not before, start the habit of making brushing part of your daily schedule.
- Let your child choose the equipment (character toothbrush, flavored floss etc.) so that they are playing an active role in the process.
- Floss once a day as soon as two teeth are touching each other.
- Eat a healthy diet (lots of fruits and veggies are good for your child's body and his/her teeth!).
- Monitor amounts of soda, juice and other sugary drinks
- And, see your dentist twice a year.
If you are looking for a dentist for your child, call us today and schedule an appointment. Dr. Phillip Greer SweetWater Dentistry!