Most parents know that oral hygiene is important but actually helping kids establish good brushing and flossing habits can be easier said than done. We get all kinds of questions from parents about pediatric dentistry, such as:
- How old should my child be for their first dental appointment?
- Will my toddler get crooked teeth if they suck their thumb?
- Is it common for kids to get cavities?
- What’s the best way to get my child to brush their teeth?
To answer all of these common questions (and more!), here’s a quick fact sheet about pediatric dentistry and children’s dental health:
- Parents should bring their child in for their first dentist appointment by their first birthday or whenever their first tooth comes in (whichever comes first).
- Even infants can experience tooth decay and cavities due to the sugar in juice, milk, or baby formula. Parents can help prevent this by not letting their child sleep with a bottle.
- Generally, thumb sucking and pacifier use won’t harm your baby’s teeth. However, if your child still frequently sucks their thumb past the age of 3, a pediatric dentist might recommend ways to reduce this behavior since it can lead to misalignment.
- According to the CDC, over 50% of kids between the ages of 6 and 8 years old have had at least one cavity in their baby teeth.
- The best way to establish good brushing habits is to set a good example for your child early on. Try brushing your teeth alongside your child so they can mimic your actions, and let them choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste.
To set up an appointment for your kids or find more information about pediatric dentistry, reach out to us at Smile Cove Pediatric Dental!