At Woodland Family Dentistry, it is our goal to make each child’s dental visit as special as possible. We do our best to ensure that each child’s appointment is a fun, educational and painless experience. Below we’ve listed some frequently asked questions that we get from parents.
- Questions & Answers:
- How can I care for my baby’s gums?
After each feeding, breast or bottle, gently wipe your baby’s gums with a clean gauze pad.
- What about teething?
The discomfort of teeth coming into the mouth can cause your baby to become irritable. Signs of teething are drooling and the urge to mouth objects. A temperature of less than 100 degrees is considered normal while teething. If your child has a fever while teething, call your physician. You can ease some of the discomfort by lightly rubbing your baby’s gums with a clean finger or a wet gauze pad. A cool teething ring can also help to soothe baby’s tender gums.
- What should I do about thumb or pacifier sucking?
The catchall term for the various oral sucking habits of children is non-nutritive sucking. This includes thumb or finger sucking and the use of pacifiers. Most contemporary pediatric health providers agree that these habits have important formative and nurturing functions and, at least for the first few years of life (up to age 4), should be ignored.
- When will my baby’s teeth come in?
Baby’s teeth begin forming even before birth. All 20 primary teeth, also called baby teeth, are present in a child’s jawbones at birth. The lower two front teeth are typically the first to erupt, usually sometime around six months after birth. Do not be concerned if your baby is a little late. By age 3, all 20 primary teeth should be present. Please see the chart below to see when your baby’s teeth will come in.
- What is “Baby Bottle Tooth Decay”?
One common way a baby can develop cavities is called “baby bottle tooth decay.” It occurs when a child’s teeth are frequently exposed to sugary liquids for long periods of time. Among these are milk, formula, fruit juice, and other sweetened liquids. Never use the feeding bottle as a pacifier. If you must give your baby a bottle at bedtime or naptime, make sure it contains plain water. Also, you should not give a baby a pacifier that has been dipped in honey or sugar.
- When should brushing begin?
You should start cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they appear. A small, pea-size dab of fluoride toothpaste can be used after the child is old enough not to swallow it. One of the best ways to encourage brushing is to be a good role model. Many parents brush their own teeth while brushing their child’s, making brushing a fun time together.
- Should children floss?
Flossing daily removes plaque and food particles between teeth and below the gumline. Teaching your children to floss is essential to their oral health. You will have to help your youngest children floss. You should start flossing your child’s teeth even when they have only their primary teeth.
- Why are enamel and fluoride important?
Enamel, the hardest substance in the body, is the outermost layer of the tooth and protects the tooth from decay. Fluoride, a naturally-occurring substance, strengthens tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay. Some common sources of fluoride are fluoridated drinking water, fluoride-containing toothpastes, and fluoride mouth rinses. Since it is possible for the presence of fluoride in well water, water testing is important prior to prescribing fluoride for children. Visit your county’s website for specific details on testing. Residents of Washtenaw County click here.
- What are dental sealants?
Today, most cavities occur on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Dental sealants provide specific protection against that kind of cavity. A dental sealant is a shaded plastic material that is painted directly into the grooves on the chewing surfaces (and sometimes sides) of the tooth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting enamel from plaque and acids.
- Should children wear mouthguards when playing sports?
Considering more than 200,000 injuries to the mouth and jaw occur each year, dentists support the use of mouthguards in a variety of sports activities. Mouthguards are effective in moving soft tissue in the oral cavity away from the teeth, preventing laceration and bruising of the lips and cheeks, especially for the children who wear braces.