Answers to the Top 4 Dental Questions Asked by New Parents

Parents often have many questions in regards to taking care of their children’s teeth. When should our first visit to the dentist be? When should I start brushing their teeth? Do I use toothpaste? What about fluoride? Having the right answers to these questions can help your child have a healthy, cavity free mouth.

  1. help brushing teethTime to start brushing: In the beginning you should start cleaning your infant’s gums with a washcloth and continue as teeth come in. As more teeth come in you may change to a size appropriate soft toothbrush.
  2. What about toothpaste? It is not recommended that fluoride toothpaste be used until child is able to spit the toothpaste from his/her mouth. Begin encouraging your child to spit out the toothpaste as soon as you begin brushing your child’s teeth. For younger children there are non fluoride toothpastes that you may choose to use until they are able to release the toothpaste from their mouth.
  3. Don’t they need fluoride? If your child drinks bottled water without fluoride or is on well water a fluoride supplement is indicated. Fluoride is key to keeping teeth healthy. You might also discuss sealants with your child’s dentist. Sealants can be placed on baby teeth as well as permanent teeth. A sealant is a great measure that provides a barrier from cavity causing bacteria.
  4. Time for a visit to the dentist: There are many different recommendations as to child’s first dental visit age. The Academy of Pediatric Dentistry states once the first tooth comes in and no later that first birthday. In contrast, unless your child has risk factors such as sleeping with a sippy cup, family members with high cavity rate, teeth staining, thumb sucking, etc. the first visit can be around 3 years old.

Remember, in order to show your children the importance of regular brushing and flossing it is important that we as parents set a great example by practicing good dental habits ourselves.

About the Author

I am a family dentist who treats children as well as adults. Making smiles people love, extreme makeovers and complex dental reconstruction is our niche including implants, TMJ, orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry. As a participant in the blog, I will be offering dental perspectives on pediatric safety and health care options on a regular basis. I can be reached at Blessings to all! Dr Williams is a member of the PedSafe Expert team


One Response to “Answers to the Top 4 Dental Questions Asked by New Parents”

  1. Looks like I did everything right! My kids are now 8 & 5 and they visit the dentist regularly. The hardest part is getting them to floss every day.

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