Ask the Hygienist

  1. At what age should I bring my child to the dentist?
    The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child see the dentist by the age of 1, or within 6 months of their first tooth eruption. Primary teeth typically begin growing in around 4-6 months of age.
     
  2. When should I start using fluoride toothpaste on my child’s teeth?
    Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening tooth enamel and making it resistant to acids and bacteria that cause tooth decay. Your child can receive fluoride from water (excluding most bottled water), fluoride treatments at their dental checkups every 6 months, and if needed, through supplements.  It is recommended by the age of 2 and older to use a very small, pea-sized amount of kids fluoride toothpaste.
     
  3. What are dental sealants?
    Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings that are painted on the chewing surface of the back teeth to prevent tooth decay.  Sealants help seal the grooves by keeping germs and food particles out of the chewing surfaces where they may hide and tooth brushing can’t brush them away.
     
  4. How many times should I be brushing daily?
    Brush with a soft bristled toothbrush at least two times a day for 2-3 minutes using a toothpaste with fluoride.
     
  5. At what age should my child begin flossing?
    Oral-B recommends to start flossing your child’s teeth even when they have only primary (baby) teeth.  Once a child’s teeth begin to fit closely together, usually between the ages of two and six, parents should get their children in the habit of flossing daily.  Children can usually develop the dexterity to floss their own teeth around the age of 10.
     
  6. Will my pregnancy weaken my teeth?
    No. It is a myth that calcium is lost from the mother’s teeth. The calcium your baby will need is provided by your diet, not by your teeth.  Due to surges of hormones, you may experience changes in your oral health during the pregnancy that can exaggerate the way gum tissues react to plaque.  Therefore, it is especially important to visit your dentist regularly during your pregnancy.
     
  7. What does the term “Baby Bottle Decay” mean?
    Food and drinks, such as sugar, sodas, bread, and sugar found in milk and breast milk, can cause tooth decay.  When the sugar sits for prolonged time on the teeth and is not removed, it can lead to baby bottle decay.  Most often, decay can start on the upper front teeth, but any tooth can be affected and end up with tooth loss.  Dental professionals recommend that when a child’s first tooth erupts, parents begin brushing or wiping teeth with a soft cloth and encourage only water at night.  It is highly recommended that children are off the bottle before the age of one.
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