Frequently Asked Pediatric Dental Questions – Castle Rock, CO
Learning More About Your Child’s Care
When your child’s smile is still growing, it’s a learning experience for both of you. We love having the chance to educate our patients about dental care and showing them what they can do to protect their developing smiles. Below are some of the most common questions that parents ask us about their children’s dental care. We hope that the answers below address some of your own concerns, although you’re more than welcome to call us if you there’s anything else you want to know.
What age should I take my child to the dentist?
We follow the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry guidelines to bring your child for their first dental visit by their 1st birthday. Even if your child does not have teeth yet, we are here to answer questions and help assist you with your home routine.
Are pacifier and thumb or finger-sucking habits harmful?
Pacifier use and thumb sucking is normal for infants. However, dependence can occur if not stopped at an early age. Pacifier or finger habits should be stopped by age 2. If prolonged, these habits can lead to problems with your child's bite and/or tooth alignment.
Are baby teeth really that important? They're just going to fall out anyway.
Primary teeth, also known as baby teeth, aid with speech development, eating, self-image, and they serve as a placeholder and guide for the permanent teeth. If not taken care of, baby teeth can develop severe decay which may lead to infections, or even affect the development of permanent teeth.
How can I prevent cavities in my child's teeth?
Tooth decay develops when plaque is not properly removed from tooth and gum surfaces, and children have decay promoting eating habits. Be sure to brush and floss daily following the recommended routine for your child. If your child is nursing or bottle-feeding, DO NOT allow him/her to fall asleep while doing so. Breast milk and formula contain sugars that promote tooth decay.
Dental check-ups every six months will allow the dentist to regularly monitor your child's oral health. These visits combined with proper home care and a healthy diet will minimize your child's risk for cavities.
What is the best brushing routine?
- Infant - After each feeding, wipe off your infant's gums with a soft cloth, or a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head. You do not need to use toothpaste. DO NOT allow your infant to fall asleep while nursing or bottle feeding.
- Toddler - Each morning and evening before bed, help your child brush and floss his or her teeth using a soft-bristled brush with a small head. Use non-fluoridated training-toothpaste until your child is proficient at spitting. Don't forget to gently brush the gums!
- Child - Help your child brush and floss his or her teeth until he or she is about 8 years old. This is about the age when finer motor skills are developed to brush small, intricate circles on the tooth and at the gum line. Use the type of floss that you find most comfortable (traditional floss, flossers, etc.)
- Adolescent - Most adolescents are able to brush and floss twice daily on their own. Remember to keep the brush halfway on the gums to remove all plaque and maintain gingival health.
What are the eating and drinking dos and don'ts?
We recommend a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, proteins, carbohydrates, and dairy products following the guidelines of your pediatrician. Limit sweets (high in sugar), sodas (carbonation), and sports drinks (high in acid) to special occasions (less than once a week).
Do I need to be giving my child a fluoride supplement?
Castle Rock city water is fluoridated following FDA guidelines. You do not need to give your child a fluoride supplement if you are using city water.
What can I do to make teething more comfortable?
If your child is drooling excessively, irritable, restless, and has loss of appetite, he or she may be teething. Have your child chew on a cold or frozen rubber teething ring. Children's Tylenol will also help alleviate their discomfort.
How often should my child see the dentist?
We follow the AAPD guidelines to have your child visit the dentist every six months starting around his or her first birthday. We try our best to keep visits as comfortable as possible, explaining each step as we go using kid-friendly terminology. We love surprises, but NOT at the dentist!
Six-month check-ups may include a cleaning, exam with Dr. Layne, fluoride treatment, oral-hygiene instruction, and necessary x-rays.
How can I protect my child's teeth while playing sports?
It is very important to protect your child's teeth while playing sports or being active. Once a child has all of their permanent teeth we can fit them for a sports mouth guard. This simple appliance is worn while playing sports to lessen the impact of hits to the mouth, lips, and gums. Before your child loses all his baby teeth there are a variety of options for protecting his teeth while playing contact sports. Please let us know if you would like more information about mouth guards.
How is a healthy mouth important to overall health?
Many people do not realize your teeth are needed for things other than eating; we also need teeth to smile and talk. A healthy mouth is especially important for children's development. Underlying issues can arise from tooth decay or pain and can lead to nutritional and weight loss issues.