Pediatrician Anchorage, AK
As parents, we care deeply for our children, and often have many questions when it comes to their medical and dental care. At Aurora Children's Dentistry our pediatric dentist, Dr. Caitlin Barnes, is passionate about caring for her pediatric patients (and their parents!) to prevent dental problems later in life. Part of this care involves answering frequently asked questions regarding children's oral health.
How Can You Best Care for Baby Teeth at Home?
As soon as you see that first tiny baby tooth it is time to start making sure it stays clean and pearly white. You will want to get a toothbrush and toothpaste designed especially for kids. Keep an eye out for the ADA's official seal of recommendation so you know that you are getting the best. For kids under three, you only need the tiniest amount of toothpaste. Once they turn three, you can start giving them the standard pea-sized amount. You can keep the rest of their mouth and gums clean by wiping it down with a soft gauze pad, slightly moist.
What Toothbrush Should My Child Use?
The right toothbrush for your child will vary based on their age. For infants and young children, you must select a toothbrush with a small brush head and soft bristles so that it does not irritate their sensitive gums. The brush should also have a large handle to eliminate the risk of choking. Children old enough to provide feedback will also benefit from a brightly colored toothbrush or one that features their favorite cartoon character.
Why Are Baby Teeth Important - Aren't They Just Going to Fall Out?
Your child's baby teeth are responsible for several key developmental milestones. The first and more obvious role is allowing them to sufficiently chew their food. Improperly chewed food can result in digestive issues and discomfort for your child. Premature loss of their baby teeth can compound these problems.
Their baby teeth are also vital in the development of proper speech patterns and the formation of words. Early tooth loss will result in difficulty in communicating with your child. If they lose a substantial amount of teeth during the development of speech, this problem may require speech therapy to correct.
Does My Child Need a Fluoride Toothpaste?
Infants do not need fluoride toothpaste unless our professional recommends otherwise. This is due to the risk that your child will swallow an excess amount of fluoride and potentially cause stomach irritation and other concerns. Once your child gets a little older, our team will likely recommend making the switch to a toddler toothpaste that contains fluoride, but this is based on individual patient needs. Using age-appropriate toothpaste and the proper amount of paste are key parts of properly and safely cleaning your child's teeth.
We know that you probably have even more questions. If you would like more information on appropriate brushing habits or anything else related to your child's oral health, give our Aurora Children’s Dentistry office a call at 907-336-1234 to schedule an appointment.