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Dental Care for Your Baby

Q. At what point should I take my children for their first dental visit?

When your child is between six and twelve months of age or when your child’s first tooth comes in is when you should visit your pediatric dentist. Early examination and preventive care will guard your child’s dental health.

Q. Why should I bring my children in when they are so young?

Dental problems can begin early. Your child risks severe decay from using a bottle during naps or at night or continuously nursing from the breast. Children with healthy teeth chew food easier, learn to speak clearly, and smile with confidence. The sooner your child visits the pediatric dentist, the better chance you have of preventing dental problems.

Q. Is there a way to prevent tooth decay from using a bottle or nursing?

When your child begins teething, nighttime breast-feeding should be avoided. Encourage your child to drink from a cup rather than a bottle.

Q. What is the appropriate age to stop bottle feeding your children?

When your child is between 12 and 14 months of age, they should be weaned from the bottle. This varies for children with special needs.

Q. When my children suck their fingers/thumb, should I worry?

Prolonged thumb sucking can create crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems. Thumb sucking is normal for infants, and most stop on their own by age two. If your child continues, discourage thumb sucking after age four. Your pediatric dentist will be glad to help your child with a prolonged thumb sucking habit.


Q. At what age should my children’s teeth be cleaned?

The sooner you clean your child’s teeth, the better it is because most children do not know how to brush their teeth properly. When your child is born, start cleaning your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush and water. Do not use fluoridated toothpaste until age two, unless advised by your pediatric dentist.

Q. What can I do to help my children while teething?

Many children like a clean teething ring, cool spoon or cold wet washcloth. When your child is from six months to three years of age they may have sore gums with the growth of their teeth. Some parents think a chilled ring is best, or simply rub the baby’s gums with a clean finger.

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