Frequently Asked Questions About Children’s Teeth

Good oral hygiene begins at home. Laying the foundation for a good routine can be as simple as brushing and flossing together in the morning and right before bed. Encouraging good oral habits early in life will help your kids develop a routine they can use when they get older. We’re always happy to address any concerns you have regarding your child’s oral health. Here are 10 of our most popular questions:

At what age should I bring my baby to the dentist?

At Bassett Creek Dental, we prefer to see a child’s first visit around the age of 2 or 3. On the first visit, we try to go the extra mile to make sure the visit starts off on the right foot. The hygienist will introduce your child to the different tools that will be used in order evaluate and polish your child’s teeth. To make it a fun, upbeat visit, kids can take a ride in the dental chair or even squirt water with the hygienist’s tools. We will talk to and observe to see if your child is ready for an exam, cleaning, or if another visit is required to soothe the child’s fears. If you do suspect there is a problem prior to that time, please don’t hesitate to make an appointment right away.

How do I clean my baby’s teeth?

As many parents know, babies eat all the time. After every feeding, use a moist piece of gauze or a wet washcloth and gently wipe the gums and tooth to clean the child’s mouth. This will help your baby get used to having your fingers inside his mouth. Once your baby is comfortable with your fingers in his mouth, start using a soft bristled brush, preferably one designed for infants. It should be used at least once a day before bedtime to remove plaque. Learn more about when to start brushing baby's teeth.

Why should I take care of baby teeth if they’re going to fall out?

Primary teeth, or “baby teeth,” are incredibly important. They help forge a path for permanent teeth to follow when they erupt. Not only do they pave the way for permanent teeth, but baby teeth also help children chew naturally and speak clearly. If you refuse to treat decay on primary teeth, it can not only cause painful toothaches, but the decay can be so severe that it can form an abscess which can result in needing an extraction. If primary teeth are lost prematurely, it can result in your child’s teeth drifting and blocking the area when his permanent teeth come in.

My child’s permanent teeth are yellowish in color. Is that normal?

Yes, it is normal. Baby teeth come in a milky white color which can make permanent tooth next to it appear very yellow. The enamel on your permanent teeth is more translucent so the dentin shows through more, causing the yellowish color.

What are dental sealants and why should I consider them?

Tooth decay in children and teens tend to be more prevalent in the back molars. Sealants are a thin plastic film that is painted on the surface of molars and premolars. The sealant fills in the grooves and pitted surfaces of the teeth, which are hard to clean, and block any food particles from settling there and causing cavities. It’s a quick and easy process which can protect teeth from decay and can last several years.

Should I be concerned with my child’s thumb sucking or pacifier habit?

According to the American Dental Association, children stop sucking their thumb between the ages of 2-4. If the habit does go on for a longer period of time it can start to interfere with the normal growth and development of your child’s teeth. It can cause jaw problems, create crowded, crooked teeth and possible bite problems.

What should I do if my child refuses to brush?

Make it a fun, family affair! There are many fun toothbrush options out there. Make it a toothbrushing event and let your child pick out their own toothbrush and toothpaste. There are so many fun options to choose from: fun characters, blinking lights, electric toothbrushes, bright colors, and so much more! Once you’ve selected the tools, turn on some music or watch a fun toothbrushing video to get your child brushing.

Are mouth guards necessary when my child is playing a contact sport?

Collisions happen. It’s important to protect your teeth just like you would protect your body with pads and helmets. Contact sports put you at risk for injury to your teeth, jaw, head, face and neck. Athletic mouthguards can help protect your child’s teeth, lips and gums from sport related injuries.

Can the tooth be saved if my child’s permanent tooth gets knocked out?

In this emergency situation, you’ll want to keep calm and get to the dentist as soon as you can. The first thing you want to do is find the tooth. Make sure you’re grabbing the tooth by the crown and not from the roots It’s also important that the tooth doesn't dry out. You can try to pop it back into the tooth socket, but if that’s not possible, put it in a glass of milk or put it between your cheek and gums as you travel to the dental office. The sooner you get to the dentist, the more your chances of reimplantation will be a success.

How can I help my child prevent cavities?

A healthy diet, flossing, brushing for 2 minutes, two times a day, and regular dental visits are vital to preventing cavities. As your child gets older, there will undoubtedly be more questions regarding his oral health. At Bassett Creek Dental, we look forward to answering any questions or concerns your have and we look look forward to working with you on your child’s journey for a healthy smile. Contact us today at 763-546-1301 for an appointment.