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Dental Health at an Early Age

Posted on September 3rd, 2013 by Dr. Nikoo Daftary

You want the best for your kids, and to make sure they stay happy and healthy. Being knowledgeable on the best health practices for your little ones will ensure they have a lifetime of health and happiness.
What should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?
Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically or infants, should be used at least once a day to remove plaque and bacteria from your baby’s teeth.
When should I take my child to the dentist for a first check-up?
To prevent dental problems, you should take your child to a pediatric dentist as soon as the first tooth appears, or no later than his or her first birthday.
What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?
A pediatric dentist has two or three years of specialty training following dental school, and limits his or her practice to treating only children. They are the pediatricians of dentistry.
Why are baby teeth important?
Primary, or baby, teeth help children speak clearly and chew naturally. In addition, they form a path for permanent teeth to follow when they are ready to come in.
What should I do if my child has a toothache?
You should first rinse the irritated area with warm water mixed with salt and place a cool compress on the face if it is swollen. Give your child acetaminophen for any pain rather than aspirin, and see your dentist as soon as possible.
Are thumb-sucking and pacifiers harmful for a child’s teeth?
These habits will only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop the habit on their own, but if the habits go past the age of three, your pediatric dentist may recommend an oral appliance.
When should my child begin to use toothpaste?
The sooner the better – start cleaning your baby’s gums with a soft toothbrush or cloth and water at birth. When teeth start to appear, brush twice daily using fluoridated toothpaste and a soft brush. Use just a small smear of toothpaste to brush a child’s teeth when they are under two years old. From ages two to five, give them a pea-size amount of toothpaste and assist them in brushing. Make sure the child spits out the toothpaste after brushing, rather than swallowing it.
How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?
Your pediatric dentist can evaluate the fluoride level of your child’s primary source of drinking water. If they aren’t getting enough through water, the dentist may prescribe supplements.
How safe are dental x-rays?
Dental x-rays have very little risk. Pediatric dentists are careful to limit the amount of radiation children are exposed to. Other measures are used to ensure safety and minimize radiation exposure.
How can parents help prevent tooth decay?
Parents should teach and encourage good oral hygiene practices, and should schedule regular dental appointments. This, along with a balanced diet, will help give a child a lifetime of healthy habits.
Art of Modern Dentistry has its own pediatric practice , dedicated specifically to treating the dental needs of children of all ages. Schedule an appointment for your child today.
 
 
Courtesy of  the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists
http://www.aapd.org/resources/frequently_asked_questions/

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