The Top Questions Parents Ask About Dental Health
Your Questions About Your Child’s Dental Health Answered.
Are you looking for a family dentist? As you weigh your local options, it’s natural to have plenty of questions. After all, this is the team you’ll trust to take care of your loved ones’ dental health for years to come. You want to make sure you choose one that’s friendly, welcoming, and professional at every turn.
Today, we’re answering dental health questions we often hear from parents so you can be assured we’re a great fit for your little one and family!
1. When should my child first go to the dentist?
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends bringing your child to their first dental visit as soon as their first tooth appears. If they turn one year old before that happens, then take them by their first birthday.
Not sure what to expect on that initial visit? Our new patient experience will include a detailed evaluation of your child’s oral health, including digital photos and X-rays. You’ll have the opportunity to meet our staff, tour the office, and ask any questions you might have.
2. What is the best toothpaste to use?
The American Dental Association (ADA) has affixed its seal of approval to a wide range of dental products, including fluoride toothpaste recommended for kids. When you’re shopping for the best toothpaste for your child’s dental health, be sure to look for this emblem on the packaging. You can find a complete list of ADA-approved products online.
3. When should my child start flossing, and why is it important?
You should begin flossing with your child as soon as they have teeth that touch. While they’re little, you may need to help them with this task. Your dentist can demonstrate the proper technique to use.
Flossing is important because it removes food and oral bacteria from between your child’s teeth. Left untreated, this could turn into plaque, which can cause a cavity. Children are especially prone to eating sticky, gummy foods that can be difficult to fully remove by brushing alone.
4. What are sealants, and why does my child need them?
If your child has developed molars, your family dentist might suggest sealants to help ward off decay. Sealants are a thin, protective coating that can be placed over the chewing surfaces of back teeth to reduce the risk of cavities.
While brushing and flossing are the first lines of defense, sealants also offer a great level of protection. It can be difficult for children to brush every surface of their teeth, especially the ones that are hard to reach far in the back. Applying sealants soon after molars develop helps safeguard them from the very beginning.
5. Are dental X-rays safe for children?
Dental X-rays offer dentists the chance to take a closer, more thorough look at your child’s teeth and gums. However, they also emit a low level of radiation. Because of this, you may wonder if they’re safe for your child. Modern X-ray machines require less radiation than those of the past, and the level emitted is safe for your family. However, we’re also proud to offer a different solution: digital X-rays.
Requiring only a fraction of the radiation required by traditional, film-based X-rays, digital X-rays are generally deemed a safer and less invasive option. Plus, the benefits are twofold! You’re protected from unnecessary exposure and our dentists receive an instant picture!
6. Is fluoride safe for children?
It’s true that when fluoride is consumed in large amounts, it can be dangerous to your health. This is why we never advise swallowing large amounts of toothpaste! However, keep in mind that this mineral is found in trace amounts all throughout nature. It’s in the soil you walk on, the water you drink, and the foods you eat. When applied to the enamel layer of your teeth, it effectively integrates with the other minerals found there. This strengthens your teeth and makes them less vulnerable to decay. As such, the ADA recommends small amounts of fluoride toothpaste for both children and adults.
7. How often should my small child see the dentist if their teeth are going to fall out anyway?
It’s a common and understandable question. If your child is going to eventually lose their primary (baby) teeth, then why do they need to clean them and how often should they visit our office?
The short answer is that the dental health and stability of your child’s primary teeth directly affect their adult smile. After all, baby teeth serve as placeholders for adult teeth. By following healthy habits now, you can set them on a foundation of excellent dental health. You can also help their adult teeth grow in strong and straight.
After their initial visit, twice-annual preventive cleanings are usually all that’s needed to keep your child’s teeth and gums in great shape! If there are issues that require closer, more frequent attention, then additional visits might be necessary.
8. Will there be enough room in my child’s mouth for all of their adult teeth?
It might be hard to imagine now, but yes! Your child’s jaw will grow as they develop, and in most cases, it’s appropriately sized to hold all of their adult teeth. When they’re very little, your child’s baby teeth have the unique role of holding space in their jaw. Those spaces will eventually be replaced with the permanent teeth growing beneath their gums!
However, if their jawbone develops at a slower pace than their permanent teeth, it can lead to overcrowding. Your family dentist can evaluate this issue and can recommend orthodontic treatment if necessary.
9. My child has a toothache. What should I do?
We know it can be disheartening to see your little one in pain. Thankfully, a toothache is easily treated as long as you take prompt action. Begin by rinsing your child’s mouth with warm water to clean it out. You can also gently floss around their teeth to remove any stuck-on food particles. Sometimes this is enough to relieve the pain. If it persists, go ahead and contact your dentist to schedule an appointment for a more thorough evaluation.
A Local Family Dentist You Can Trust
At Farless Dental Group, we’re committed to providing expert-level dental care for your entire family. From dental cleanings to dentures, we do it all. While these questions are a great place to begin, we encourage you to reach out to our team to learn more about the services we offer. We work closely with local healthcare providers, including Greensboro pediatricians, to optimize your child’s dental and physical health.
If you’re looking for a dentist in Greensboro, NC, we’d love to meet you. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.