7 common question parents ask


Rochester MN is known for being a great place to raise a family, so we often get questions from new parents asking about dental care for children.

When is it time for my child’s first dental visit?

Before the age of 1, feel free to bring your child in to see us without charge.  We’ll do a brief examination, give you pointers, and demonstrate how to take care of baby’s teeth. We’ll also start to get your baby comfortable with our office for future visits.  A pleasant, comfortable first visit builds trust and helps put the child at ease during future visits.

How Can I Prevent Baby Bottle Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay in infants can be minimized or totally prevented by not allowing sleeping infants to breast or bottle-feed. Infants who need a bottle to comfortably fall asleep should be given a water-filled bottle or a pacifier. Our office is dedicated to fighting baby bottle tooth decay. Let us know if you notice any signs of decay or anything unusual in your child’s mouth.

A toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head, especially one designed for infants, is the best choice for infants. Brushing at least once a day, at bedtime, will help remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay.

Can thumbsucking be harmful for my child’s teeth?

Thumb and pacifier sucking habits that go on for a long period of time can unfortunately create crowded, crooked teeth, or even bite problems. If your child is still sucking her or his thumbs or fingers when the permanent teeth arrive, we may recommend some corrective action, just as a mouth appliance. The good news is that most children stop these habits on their own.

When should my child start using toothpaste?

Go ahead and avoid fluoridated toothpaste until age 3. Earlier than that, clean your child’s teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. After age 3, parents should supervise brushing. Use no more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and be very careful to try to make sure children do not swallow excess toothpaste.

When do the first teeth start to erupt?

At about 6 months, the two lower front teeth (central incisors) will erupt, followed shortly by the two upper central incisors. The remainder of the baby teeth appear during the next 18 to 24 months but not necessarily in an orderly sequence from front to back. At 2 to 3 years, all of these 20 primary teeth should be present.

How can I help my child through the teething stage?

Sore gums when teeth erupt are part of the normal eruption process. The discomfort is eased for some children by use of a teething biscuit, a piece of toast or a frozen teething ring. Your pharmacy should also have medications that can be rubbed on the gums to reduce the discomfort.

If my child gets a cavity in a baby tooth, should it still be filled?

Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt. Some of them are necessary until a child is 12 years old or longer. Pain, infection of the gums and jaws, impairment of general health and premature loss of teeth are just a few of the problems that can happen when baby teeth are neglected. Also, because tooth decay is really an infection and will spread, decay on baby teeth can cause decay on permanent teeth. Proper care of baby teeth is instrumental in enhancing the health of the your child.

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