Tiny Texans Pediatric Dentistry

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Infant Oral Health

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Finding the right pediatric dentist for your child is a big decision. We realize you will probably have a lot of questions to ask before you can decide which dentist is right for your family. At Tiny Texans Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Christina and her entire team appreciate questions—and we look forward to providing you with answers.

There are some questions we tend to hear over and over, so we have compiled some of those here for your convenience. If you have a question that is not listed here, we invite you to give us a call. We look forward to discussing the dental needs of your little ones. 

Infant Oral Health

You should start brushing your child's teeth as soon as they start to come in and assist with brushing until they are old enough to tie their own shoe laces (around age 7). For children 3 and younger, try and brush for 20-30 seconds without any toothpaste first. After you see the teeth and gums look clean, you have let them take over with a rice size amount of fluoride toothpaste. Try having the child lay down (like on the changing table before a diaper change) when you brush so that you can easily see all the teeth. For children over 3 years of age, brushing should be twice a day for 1-2 minutes. This is also an ideal time to have them start flossing or transitioning to an electric toothbrush. An adult needs to check every evening before bed that the teeth and gums look clean of food or plaque. If they did not do a good job, go back and assist them with brushing, especially along the gumline. 

Good oral habits start young, so it is never too early to practice good oral hygiene habits with your child. You can start by wiping their gums with a soft, wet baby washcloth after feedings until teeth start to erupt. This habit helps remove any milk residue, gets the child used to you being in their mouth, and can help with teething pain.

Once the child has a tooth erupt (usually around six months of age), you can continue with a washcloth or start using a finger brush or infant toothbrush. Ideally, you want to brush your child’s teeth at least every night after their last meal. You don’t need to use toothpaste at this time, although there are particular kinds available specifically for children this age. Ask Dr. Christina about those if you are interested.

For infants who fall asleep nursing or with a milk bottle, try to at least brush their teeth and gums well before their last feeding and again once they wake up.

Be sure to bring your child to the dentist for his or her first appointment right around their first birthday. Dr. Christina can go over more specifics on good home oral care at this time.

We recommend your child’s first visit take place within six months of that first tooth eruption or by their first birthday. This is also the recommendation set by the American Dental Association.

Your child’s first visit to the dentist is friendly and nonthreatening. Our primary goals are to get your child accustomed to the dentist and keep him or her from ever getting a cavity. If your child is anxious, you may even sit in the dental chair with your child on your lap.

Dr. Christina will conduct a short examination, checking for signs of decay, problems with bite, and health of the gums. She will also talk to you about good oral hygiene practices to follow at home, whether a fluoride treatment is recommended, and developmental milestones. If your child is a thumb-sucker or tongue-thruster, she will help you with strategies for stopping these behaviors. Because she believes so strongly in the connection between proper eating and good oral health, Dr. Christina will also offer advice on proper nutrition.

Taking children to the dentist at an early age sets them up for a lifetime of visiting the dentist regularly. We do everything we can to make sure their experience at the dentist is as pleasant as possible!

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