A collaboration between parent, child, and dentist helps establish a foundation for a lifetime of good oral health. The answers to the top five questions we get about pediatric dental care can prepare you for this journey.
Dental care for children is mainly focused on preventing tooth and gum problems from arising in the future. Most children have fairly healthy teeth and gums that can stay in great shape with consistent care at home and regular visits to your child’s dentist. Staying informed about the importance of proper pediatric dental care will give you the tools to help your child retain their excellent oral health.
- How Important Is Brushing and Flossing Baby Teeth?
Baby teeth need just as much care as permanent teeth do to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Although baby teeth are temporary, they play a vital role in guiding adult teeth into place. You should have your child brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. Either before or after brushing, it is extremely important to floss between each of the teeth. Kids over age six can quick rinse with mouthwash that contains fluoride for an extra dose of protection.
- Does My Child Really Need Dental Sealants?
Dental sealants are highly effective in preventing the development of cavities. Dentists prefer to apply the sealants immediately after a child’s molars grow through the gums, usually at age six and twelve. Dental sealants are quick, easy, and completely painless to apply to your child’s teeth, so there’s really no reason to skip this procedure (especially since most dental insurance providers cover it). The thin coating is painted onto each of the clean, dry molar biting surfaces and protect against plaque, acids, and bacteria.
- Does a Baby Tooth Need to be Pulled if the Adult Tooth Does Not Push It Out?
Pulling a loose tooth too soon could affect your child’s future dental health. In most cases, the baby tooth will fall out on its own over time. Before the baby tooth can fall out, the roots must fully dissolve. Unfortunately, if this happens too slowly, it is fairly common for the adult tooth to come in right beside, behind, or even in front of the existing tooth. In most cases, this problem will correct itself as the baby tooth’s roots dissolve. The adult tooth will usually continue to move into position and push the baby tooth out of the gums naturally.
- What Age Will My Child Need Their Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Wisdom teeth do not always need to be removed, but if they do, it will be near the end of your child’s teenage years. If your child’s mouth does not have enough room for the teeth, or the molar becomes impacted beneath an adjacent tooth, your child’s Little Rock dentist will usually suggest their prompt removal.
- Are Pacifier and Thumb Sucking Habits Bad for a Child’s Teeth?
You may have concerns about whether your child’s pacifier and thumb sucking habits can affect their oral health. Most children stop these habits on their own between the age of two and four. If it goes on after the age of four it can began to cause problems with the alignment of their teeth and the growth of their mouth. In order to get them to stop, you can praise your child and offer rewards when they do not. If the problem persists, your dentist can prescribe a mouth appliance that will prevent them from sucking their thumb or pacifier.
Schedule an appointment for pediatric dental care at Arkansas Family Dental today by calling 501.683.8886.