How old should my child be for his/her first dental visit?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommends that a child see a dentist before their 1st birthday. Establishing a dental home at an early age is important in ensuring that your child has a health mouth as they get older. Creating a familiar environment for your child decreases dental anxiety and fear.
How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?

Every six months is the recommended schedule used in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems. Your pediatric dentist will tell you how often your child should visit the dentist based on their personal oral health.
When should we begin using toothpaste and how much should we use?

Up to the age of 2-3 years parents should clean the child’s teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. When your child reaches this age fluoridated toothpaste should be introduced to the regimen. Brushing should be supervised by the parent in the beginning to make sure the child uses no more than a pea-sized amount on the brush. The child should spit out and not swallow any excess toothpaste during brushing.
What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in our environment and is often added to drinking water. Although a lot of counties and communities have fluoridated water there are some that don’t. Fluoride is a popular mineral in the fight against tooth decay and it is also added to toothpaste. Research has shown that the rate of cavities has decreases in areas where fluoride is contained in the water. Being knowledgeable about the fluoride content in your community’s water supply is beneficial to your child’s oral health.
Why are baby teeth important?
Baby teeth are important as they pave the path for permanent teeth. Some baby teeth are retained until a child is 12 years old or older. Cavities on baby teeth should be taken care of as neglecting them can lead to pain, infection and general health impairment.
When do the first teeth start to erupt?

Usually the first two teeth to erupt are the lower front teeth in the middle (mandibular central incisors) at around 6-10 months. The eruption of these two teeth is followed shortly by the two upper teeth in the middle (maxillary central incisors). The rest of the baby teeth can erupt within 18 to 24 months. By the age of 2 or 3, your child should have all 20 primary or baby teeth. While these are general guidelines, all infants are different and eruption times may vary from child to child.
What are early childhood caries? How do I prevent it?
Early childhood caries are a certain pattern of tooth decay that can be present in children under the age of 6. Causes associated with this type of tooth decay are:

  • Prolonged breastfeeding
  • A high-sugar diet
  • Night time bottle feedings.
  • Diet low in fluoride or lack of proper brushing and flossing.

At Sparkle Kids Dentistry our team of Dental professionals will assess your child’s risk for development of cavities.
What are dental sealants, and how do they work?

Sealants are generally used on primary (baby) teeth to protect and help prevent tooth decay. Sealants are a tooth-colored resin that fill in the grooves and pits on the surface of molars. Molars especially can collect food and plaque and which lead to cavities. Without sealants, these surfaces are difficult to keep clean, even with regular brushing. Sealants are painless, fast and comfortable to able and may successfully protect teeth for many years.
What are the benefits of digital dental x-rays?

Digital x-rays give of less radiation than traditional x-rays do. The amount of radiation received in a dental x-ray is decreased further with the use of a lead apron. X-rays are only taken when it is absolutely necessary in a child’s dental treatment and therefore the radiation received is miniscule.
How can I make sure my child’s teeth are protected while playing sports?

Protecting your child’s mouth during sport is very important. This can be done with the use of a mouth guard. Most mouth guards are made of pliable plastic and they fit comfortably to the shape of the upper teeth. A customized mouth guard quick and easy to make and allows full comfort for your child while playing sport.
What should I do if my child has a toothache?

Salt water is a good at home remedy to try and get rid of any initial infection. If the child’s face is swollen then using a cold compress on the face can help. Give the child acetaminophen (Tylenol) for any pain, rather than placing aspirin on the teeth or gums. Aspirin may cause laceration or burns on the gums. See a dentist as soon as possible in order to avoid any problems.
Are thumb sucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child’s teeth?
Like most things in life too much of anything is never good. Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. A mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist for children that continue these habits when their permanent teeth arrive.