8 Questions Every Parent Has About Kids’ Dental Needs
We are answering popular questions the Must Love Kids dental team gets from curious parents.
There’s nothing we love more than helping kids get their healthiest, brightest smiles possible. A big part of that is arming parents with the knowledge they need to protect their kid’s oral health in between dental appointments.
We always encourage parents to drop us a line if they have questions, but if you’re looking to find fast facts online, we’ve got you covered.
Here are the answers to 8 of the most common questions parents have about their kid’s teeth.
1. When will my baby start and stop teething?
Babies begin their teething period when their first tooth begins to erupt. This usually starts around six months and by the time your child is 3 they will have all of their primary (baby) teeth. There is a lot of variability with babies and teeth development. Some may start teething early while others are late bloomers.
If you’re ever concerned about your baby’s teeth, it’s always a good idea to give us a call.
2. What can I do for teething pain?
Teething can be a downright unpleasant experience for babies. Even though teething symptoms are temporary and usually at their worst for only a few days, as a parent you want to do everything you can to keep them comfortable.
We recommend cold teething rings, applying a cold compress, and warm baths with plenty of cuddles to help soothe them. You can also ask about safe over-the-counter pain relievers designed for children.
If your baby is really having a hard time or it seems like the tooth simply isn’t coming in, it’s time for a visit with one of our dentists.
3. When should I schedule their first appointment?
The American Dental Association recommends parents schedule their child’s first dental appointment within six months of the first tooth erupting or by their first birthday. We encourage our patients’ parents to follow this same schedule.
Although this age may seem young, getting a head start on preventive care and dental check-ups is nothing but advantageous for kids. It also gives the Must Love Kids dentists and dental team a chance to develop a great relationship with your baby before the more ‘serious’ dental visits and cleanings occur later in childhood.
4. How often should my child see the dentist?
After their first dental appointments, most kids should be back to see us every six months, just like adults. If they’re getting treatment or a tooth problem, like chronic decay, is spotted their dentist may recommend more frequent appointments.
5. Are candy and soda a normal thing for kids?
Nutrition is the foundation of your kids’ oral health. A healthy, varied diet is a key component in strong, healthy teeth and gums. Unhealthy food items like candy and soda are a normal treat for many kids, but it doesn’t have to be. Providing healthier snack alternatives at home can help combat any sweet snacks your child may have at school or a friend’s home.
If you suspect your child’s diet may be contributing to their oral health issues, bring up the subject with their dentist. From there you can work together to create a more smile-friendly diet plan.
6. Is it really possible to prevent cavities?
Cavities are the number one dental problem for kids. In fact, 42% of children ages 2 to 11 have dental caries (cavities). However, cavities are largely a preventable condition. Keeping an eye on your child’s diet and their oral care routine is crucial for preventing tooth decay. Limit sugar and starches, encourage your kids to brush and floss daily, and take them to their dentist every six months.
7. What happens if my child gets a cavity?
If your child’s dentist spots a cavity they’ll decide which course of treatment is best based on your child’s age, health, and the severity of the tooth decay.
For a very minor cavity or a cavity on a tooth that will naturally be lost soon, their dentist may choose to simply monitor the situation. In most other cases your child will need to get a filling. Severe tooth decay may require a root canal or an extraction.
8. How do I get my kids to enjoy brushing their teeth?
Brushing and flossing are a normal part of a daily routine, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. When you can add fun or interactive elements into your kids’ brushing routines, they’ll look forward to caring for their teeth. Read books or watch a cartoon with them that talks about oral care. Play dentist with them. Make a sticker chart for them to track their AM and PM brushing sessions.
We even have a Cavity Free Club to encourage kids to get excited about their oral health.
Have more questions? Give the Must Love Kids dental team a ring to schedule a visit.
If you still have more questions or you’re ready to book your child’s next appointment, reach out to us by calling our office or filling out this online appointment request form.
Remember, no question is ever too small to ask! Whether you need help picking out a toothpaste for your kids or you’re concerned about a toothache, we’re here to help you and your family.