Frequently Asked Questions

1. When Should Children Get Their First Dental X-Ray?

There are no rules for when to start dental X-rays.

Some children who may be at higher risk for dental problems

(for example, those prone to baby bottle tooth decay or those with cleft lip/palate)

should have X-rays taken earlier than others. Usually, most children will have had

X-rays taken by the age of 5 or 6. As children begin to get their adult teeth around the age of 6, X-rays play an important role in helping your dentist to see if all of the adult teeth are growing in the jaw, to look for bite problems, and to determine if teeth are clean and healthy.

 

2. How can I prevent cavities in my child’s teeth?

Clean your baby's mouth with a damp cloth after feedings. When his teeth start to come in at around 6 months, brush them twice each day, and begin flossing when the teeth touch one another. Provide no more than a total of 4 to 8 ounces of juice daily, and serve it only at mealtime. If you put your baby to bed with a bottle, fill it with water, and never give him carbonated drinks. Provide fluoride only as recommended by your pediatrician.

 

3. Is it normal for my child to grind their teeth?

Yes! Children who grind their teeth usually begin at around 3 1/2 years of age and stop when they're about 6 years old, although teeth grinding is also common among children who are starting to get their permanent teeth (at around 5 years of age).

 

4. Why should I bring my child to the dentist when they are so young?

Tooth decay can begin at an early age. For this reason, we recommend that a parent bring their child to see the dentist to begin a comprehensive prevention program. A common dental problem in infants and toddlers is Early Childhood Caries (ECC) or Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. These cavities are commonly seen on the top front baby teeth, but are also seen on the back teeth as well. The baby teeth often contain yellow, black or brown holes that may cause toothaches and make it hard for a child to eat.

 

5. Are my child’s thumb and finger sucking habits bad for the teeth?

Thumb and finger sucking is perfectly normal for infants. Most children stop sucking on their own typically between the ages of two or three years old. In most cases, no harm is done to the teeth, however, children who suck on fingers or objects such as pacifiers over a long period of time tend to pull their upper front teeth outward towards their top lip. This can create crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems. The result can cause the adult teeth to erupt improperly that may later require orthodontic correction.

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