Commonly Asked Questions about Childrens Dentistry

1. When should I be taking my child to the dentist for their first visit?

We recommend you bring your child for their first visit within 6 months of the eruption of their first tooth, or approximately 1 year of age. This is not only an ideal time to check that everything is developing properly, but also establishes  a comfortable “dental home” for your child, and provides an opportunity for us to discuss home care, brushing techniques and to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

2. When should the baby teeth first erupt, and how long until they fall out (shed)?

This is often a source of concern for parents, especially if eruption of teeth is taking longer then a childs siblings, peers, etc. Generally speaking there can be a significant variation to the “standard” timeline, so try not to worry. Below is a general guideline, but some children’s first baby teeth don’t erupt until well after 12 months. If have any concerns, please feel free to contact our office.

primary teeth eruption

3. How do I manage teething?

Teething can be a very uncomfortable time for both you and baby! Common symptoms include irritability, excess drooling, and changes in appetite. Although not typically supported in the dental literature, some children experience mild fever and diarrhea. Regardless, it is important not to ignore a fever over 101F (please see your physician).

Teething can be managed using chilled (BPA free) teething rings, partially frozen washcloths and even frozen bananas! Children’s Advil or Tylenol can be used in the short term if required. If you do decide to use a topical gel such as Orajel, ensure you avoid any product containing Benzocaine.

4. How/When should I brush my childs teeth?

Oral hygiene should ideally begin immediately. Regardless if your baby is breast fed or bottle fed, after each feeding try and gently wipe the gums with a clean washcloth. This will not only help to keep the gums clean, but will also help your child get used to having their mouths cleaned at an early age. Once the teeth start to erupt you can continue using a clean washcloth until you transition to a small soft-bristled toothbrush. You can begin using a pea-sized amount of fluoride containing toothpaste starting at age 2. Make sure you smear the toothpaste across the bristles and if possible have your children spit after the teeth are brushed. In the interim, a fluoride-free toothpaste or even just water is sufficient.