We have compiled all the frequently asked questions parents have about their children’s teeth and dental health care.
If you have a question that isn’t answered in the faq please submit it here.
Dental care is extremely important for pregnant women because studies have shown a link between gum disease and low-birth-weight babies due to the hormonal changes that take place in your body during pregnancy. You are at a much higher risk of developing some gingivitis. Visiting a dentist while pregnant is highly recommended for your own wellbeing and that of your unborn child. Routine dental treatment is safe during pregnancy, although some procedures or medication should be avoided in the first 3 months, so be sure to tell us you are pregnant.
Start children early. Dental care should begin as soon as a child’s first tooth appears, usually around six months. Teeth can be wiped with a clean, damp cloth or a very soft brush. At about age 2, you can let kids try brushing for themselves although it’s important to supervise
All children should be seen by a dentist by their first birthday. The dentist will instruct you on how to keep your baby’s mouth clean and tell you how to avoid problems such as baby bottle tooth decay. Schedule dental visits twice a year, and ask your dentist about dental sealants, which can protect teeth against decay.
Always use a small toothbrush with soft bristles. Hard and medium bristled toothbrushes can damage teeth and gums. There are age appropriate toothbrushes for children which we can advise you on. An electric toothbrush is usually preferable to a manual one depending on the age of a child. Try to use a toothpaste with fluoride. A little toothpaste goes a long way! Toothpaste should not be used until the child is able to spit (three to four years of age) to avoid swallowing it. A pea-sized drop should be dispensed by the parent for young children.
Even though most children that age have a number of teeth, some children may have delayed tooth eruption. There is usually no concern about this.
If the baby teeth are moderately to very loose, there is no immediate treatment. Patience is recommended. This is a normal process. The tongue will push the permanent lower front teeth forward. If the teeth are not very loose, your child should be seen to take an X-ray and evaluate the situation.
Ditch the Dummy by 2 or 3 years of age. Long-term use can affect how the top and bottom teeth line up (the “bite”) or can affect the shape of the mouth. From a preventive point of view, infants should be given pacifiers, as they will do much less harm than finger habits, and most children will discontinue their use earlier.
Your child should stop using a bottle when they are old enough to hold a cup. This usually occurs around one year of age. After this age a child should not be placed to sleep with a bottle because this may cause tooth decay, increase the incidence of ear infections, and prolong the use of the bottle.
The signs of teething are drooling, irritability, restlessness and loss of appetite. Fever, illness and diarrhoea can be symptoms. If your child presents with the latter signs, they need to be evaluated by his or her pediatrician. The best solution to comfort the child is to have the child chew on a cold or frozen rubber teething ring. Topical anesthetics are not recommended
It is important for parents to help their children brush their teeth until they are at least 8 years old as they do not have the coordination to do so on their own. Flossing should be performed by the parent prior to brushing.
As children enter adolescence, their new set of adult teeth is at an increased risk for cavities and gum disease. That’s because brushing and flossing has now become their own responsibility and they might not be so vigilant about it. While away from home, they may consume large amounts of sugary beverages that feed destructive oral bacteria and may not brush and floss their teeth adequately, if at all!
Wisdom teeth can become an issue in the teen years. They may need removing because most people simply don’t have enough room in their mouths to accommodate them. The advantage of getting them extracted early is that they are fairly easy to remove because the roots are not formed and your bone is more pliable.