As toddlers advance into childhood, many parents need guidance to help their children develop good oral hygiene habits and get the nutrition they need. Oftentimes, parents also have questions about tooth development, sealants and fluoride, when to schedule dental visits, and when to consider braces. Our hygienists, dentist and office team address the answers to common questions like these below.
When should I expect my child's teeth to come in?
Baby teeth can come in as early as four months, with all 20 of the baby teeth appearing by age three. The order and timing of each tooth varies by individual. Permanent teeth begin appearing near age six and generally continue to come in until age 21.
How should I care for my toddler's baby teeth?
When your child's teeth begin to appear, you can begin to gently brush them using a simple back and forth motion. In addition, you should avoid baby tooth decay by not putting your child to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. The prolonged exposure to the sugar can cause decay early on.
When should I schedule my child's first dental visit?
According to the American Dental Association, the first visit should take place around age one to three. This is so the dentist can examine your child's dental health early on and help you identify if your child is at risk for baby tooth decay.
What foods should my children eat to help them develop healthy teeth?
Snacks with high sugar content, or candy that is digested in the mouth for large periods of time (i.e. suckers) can lead to tooth decay. You should make sure your children are eating nutritious snacks instead, such as vegetables, fruits, and low-fat yogurts and cheese.
How important are sealants and fluoride?
They are both very important. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and makes teeth more resistant to decay. Sealants protect teeth from plaque and acids on the tooth's surface, which is where most cavities originate.
When will I know if my child needs braces?
It varies with every individual, but most children get braces between the ages of eight and 14. During this age range, the teeth can be easily straightened because the head and mouth are still growing.