Children’s Dentistry FAQs
TFI Dentistry strives to ensure that our youngest patients can develop a beautiful healthy smile that they can keep for a lifetime. Please read our children’s dentistry FAQs to learn more about your dental health.
Why are baby teeth so important?
Baby teeth are of great importance as they pave the way for proper growth and development of the jaw. They also maintain space for the adult teeth and are beneficial in speech development and eating. Premature loss of baby teeth can lead to the need for orthodontic treatment later in a child’s life.
When should I start cleaning my child’s teeth?
You can start brushing your child’s teeth as soon as they start to come through the gums. This will generally be around six to nine months of age.
How should I clean my child’s teeth?
Begin cleaning your child’s teeth with a soft, damp cloth to wipe gently over their teeth. You can start to introduce a children’s toothbrush as soon as you feel your child will accept it.
Why is fluoride important and when should my child start using fluoride toothpaste?
Fluoride is important as it makes the enamel more resistant to plaque. At TFI Dentistry we recommend that children start using a low fluoride based toothpaste between two and six years of age. Once they switch to fluoride toothpaste, we recommend using a very small amount (approximately half the size of a pea). This is the case as most children will swallow a small amount. It is also important to drink tap water as this has the optimum amount of fluoride (approximately 0.7ppm) to help prevent tooth decay in children.
When do the baby teeth fall out?
Children generally lose their front 8 baby teeth between six and eight years of age. At this time the first permanent molars will also come through behind the baby teeth. Then between ten and twelve years of age the remaining baby teeth are lost and are replaced with adult teeth.
What should I do if my child’s baby tooth is accidentally knocked out?
If a baby tooth is knocked out do not try to put it back in. This is the case as you could accidentally damage the adult tooth that is developing below the gum. As soon as the accident occurs you should call your dentist and organise an appointment immediately.
What should I do if my child’s adult tooth is accidentally knocked out?
Unlike baby teeth, if a permanent tooth is knocked out it should be replaced in the socket straight away. The longer the tooth is out of the mouth, the less likely the tooth will survive. As soon as the accident occurs call your dentist and organise an appointment immediately. If you are unable to put the tooth back into the socket, place it into a glass of milk in the meantime.
How often should a child see the dentist?
Your child should see a dentist every six months for a check-up to ensure their dental health is developing correctly. By monitoring the development of children’s smiles we can help to safeguard your child’s dental future.
Is it ok for my child to suck a dummy?
The desire to suck is natural for an infant and a dummy helps to satisfy this need. Using a dummy is generally fine after six weeks of age. It is very important to never dip the dummy in sugar, honey or anything sweet as this can lead to tooth decay.
Is it ok for my child to suck their thumb?
Sucking the thumb or fingers is generally fine up until the age of four years. Continued sucking may lead to permanent displacement of your child’s teeth and / or jaw structure.
How can I soothe my child’s teething?
As chewing or biting usually provides relief from teething, try unsalted breadsticks or crackers. Approved commercial teething rings may also be helpful. You should discuss the use of teething gels or ointments with your doctor or dentist prior to using them.
Should I put off taking my child to the dentist if they are extremely frightened?
It is important to take your child to the dentist as early as possible to avoid creating a fear of the dentist. It may help to role play a visit with your child, and explain to them what they will see when they go into the room and what the dentist does. Setting a date and telling the child when they are going will enable the child to prepare for the dentist. It is important not to show that you are anxious or nervous.