1. When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?
When the first tooth appears or no later than his/her first
2. How can parents help prevent tooth decay?
Take your child to the dentist regularly beginning with the
eruption of the first tooth. Assist your child with brushing,
flossing, and other activities. Provide your child with a balanced
diet to help build a lifetime of healthy habits.
3. How often does my child need to see a pediatric dentist?
Every six months is recommended to prevent cavities and other
dental problems. Your dentist, however, will advise you how often
your child should be seen.
4. Toothpaste: When should I begin using it and how much should I
When your child is two to three years of age fluoridated
toothpaste should be introduced. Children younger than two should
have their teeth cleaned with water and a soft bristled toothbrush.
Parents should supervise brushing to make sure the child uses no
more than a pea size amount of toothpaste on the brush. Children
should spit out excess toothpaste after brushing, not swallow it.
5. Are baby teeth really that important to my child?
Yes! Primary, or baby teeth, are important for helping children
speak clearly and chew naturally, but they also aid in forming a
path that permanent teeth can follow when they erupt.
6. What should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?
A soft bristled toothbrush - preferably one with a small head
designed for infants.
7. How do I make my child’s diet safe for his/her teeth?
Provide your child has a balanced diet, including one serving
each of fruits and vegetables, breads and cereal, milk and dairy
products, and meat, fish, or eggs. Limiting the amount of sugars and
starches will help protect your child’s teeth from decay. Your
dentist can help you select foods that will protect your child’s
8. How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?
Your dentist can evaluate the fluoride level of your child’s
primary source of drinking water. If your child is not getting
enough fluoride, your dentist will prescribe fluoride supplements.
9. How can I prevent decay caused by nursing?
Avoid nursing your child to sleep or putting anything other than
water in your child's bedtime bottle. Brush and floss your child’s
teeth correctly, and take your child to a dentist regularly.
10. How do dental sealants work?
Sealants fill in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the
teeth, which prevent food particles from becoming caught and causing
cavities. Dental sealants can effectively protect teeth for many
11. What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent
Remain calm and find the tooth. Holding the tooth by the crown,
not the root, try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not
possible, place the tooth in a container of milk. Take your child
and the the tooth to the dentist immediately.
12. What should I do if my child has a toothache?
Rinse the irritated area with salt water. If your child's face is
swollen, use a cold compress on the swollen area. Give your child
acetaminophen for any pain, and see a dentist as soon as possible.
13. Are thumb sucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child’s
Thumb and pacifier sucking habits are only harmful if the habit
persists for a long period of time. Most children stop these habits
on their own, but if they have not stopped by the time permanent
teeth arrive, your dentist may recommend a mouth appliance.
14. How safe are dental X-Rays?
Dental X-Rays are very safe. Your child's dentist limits the
amount of radiation used, and the use of lead aprons and high speed
film help to ensure your child's safety.