Brushing Up on Your Child’s Dental Health

September 30, 2016

You asked, and we answered.




What age do I start taking my child to the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that a child go to the dentist by age 1 or within six months of their first tooth coming in.

How often does my child need to see a dentist?

Unless instructed otherwise by your child’s dentist, a check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems.

What age should my child have their wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth are the upper and lower third molars, located at the very back of the mouth. They are called wisdom teeth because usually they come in between ages 17 and 21-when a person is old enough to have gained some wisdom.

It is not always necessary to have wisdom teeth removed. If they are impacting or crowding your teeth, your dentist will likely recommend removing them. Ask your dentist at your next appointment to get a proper wisdom tooth examination and treatment plan.

What age should I take my kids to the orthodontist?

Many orthodontists say kids should see an orthodontist once their permanent teeth start coming in, around age 7. At this age, issues such as uneven bite and overcrowding will become apparent. Starting the process early doesn’t mean a child will get braces right away.


What are dental sealants?

Thorough brushing and flossing help remove food particles and plaque from smooth surfaces of teeth, but toothbrush bristles cannot reach all the way into the depressions and grooves to extract food and plaque.
Dental sealants act as a barrier, protecting the teeth against decay-causing bacteria.
A sealant is a plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars) where decay occurs most often. At your next visit, ask your dental provider if your child is a good candidate to have dental sealants placed.

Getting Started

How can I get my child to brush their teeth?

Sometimes it can be a struggle to get young children to brush their teeth. Here are some tips that can help reach the recommended two-minute brushing time, twice a day:
– Let them pick out their toothbrush and rinse cup
– Set a timer and make it a game
– Make a tooth brushing chart and reward them with stickers
– Play their favorite song and brush until it’s time to stop

How can I help my baby avoid early tooth decay?

The baby teeth are very important for chewing, speaking and appearance. They also help hold space in the jaws for the permanent teeth. Baby bottle tooth decay is caused by frequent and long exposures of a baby’s teeth to liquids that contain sugar, such as milk, formula, or juice.
1. Never allow your child to fall asleep with a bottle.
2. After eating, wipe the child’s gums with a clean cloth.
3. Never give your child a pacifier dipped in any sweetened liquid.
4. Allow a balanced diet and good nutrition to maintain healthy gums.
5. Reduce the amount of soft drinks and sugary juices.