Your Child and Dental Health

What type of toothpaste should my child be using? When should I make their first dental appointment? And other FAQ about the health of your child...

Patients ask what age is the best to bring your child in for their first dental visit, which toothpaste is the best toothpaste, when should they be losing their baby teeth, among many other questions. This blog will answer many common questions that parents have regarding the oral health of their child. 

In our office we recommended that the first dental visit with your child be at about the age of about three years old. We like to have that first visit be as easy and relaxed for your young patient. The procedures completed at this visit will depend on the cooperation and maturity of each individual child. Some 3 year olds will have a full cleaning, exam and x-rays while others may only be ready for a “happy visit”. This would include counting the teeth, taking a ride in our dental chair and learning to feel comfortable with our office. Our goal is to make the first visit as pleasant as possible so as to create fond memories that will set the stage for future appointments. 

What type of toothbrush and toothpaste should my child be using? Toothbrushes are labeled and sold according to age groups starting at the age a tooth first erupts. See the packaging label to find the correct brush. A small brush head with soft or extra soft bristles is best. Be sure to replace the brush every three months or after any illnesses. Younger children should use toothpaste with little to no fluoride content. Ingesting too much fluoride could cause an upset stomach. Brushing should be performed at least twice daily. Adult assistance may be necessary as motor skills are still developing. Don’t forget to floss! Floss once daily. Floss aids may be a big help until adolescence. 

Children begin to lose their baby teeth and grow their adult teeth around the age of 6 years old and will continue that cycle through the age of 13. Each child is on their on schedule and teeth erupt at different times. Regular dental visits will allow your dentist and hygienist to monitor their progress. 

Because it is not the amount of sugar that is consumed, it is the amount of time that the mouth is exposed to the sugar that causes dental decay, the consumption of juice and milk (which both contain sugar) should be limited and not sipped before bed or over longer periods of time. Keeping juice and milk in the mouth over a long period of time creates the perfect environment for dental decay. While rinsing with or drink water after meals, snacks, fruit juice and milk to help rinse cavity causing bacteria away, the best method to eradicate the cavity causing bacteria is to brush and floss. Baby teeth can get cavities too! Do your best to keep your child healthy.

I welcome any questions or comments.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Brandon Fry - Local Volunteer May 18, 2012 at 09:16 PM
This is a topic on my mind lately, my son is 12 and is having his adult teeth come in. While he has not lost any in a while, I can see adult teeth pushing through.
Michael Rhodes May 18, 2012 at 10:09 PM
My dentist likes them to come in at 3 and they just look in their month and give them dental care stuff. Relaxes them for the next visit.
Gregory A Pucel DDS May 21, 2012 at 04:54 PM
At 12 years of age. The twelve year molar will erupt behind the six year molars that should be present. Since every child is on their own time schedule, he may or may not have any more baby teeth. I would suggest that you consult with your dentist, or if you don't have a dentist for him, I would be glad to take a look.
Gregory A Pucel DDS May 21, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Absolutely, that is also our approach. We want to see kids at that age when we can make the visit, comfortable, easy, and fun. That way, if they do need treatment a few years down the road, they already have established a trusting relationship with us. Many of our young patients actually get excited about coming in for their visits.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »