Dental Care For Kids
Daily Care For All Ages
After every feeding a clean, warm wash cloth should be used to gently cleanse the inside of the mouth.
Teething usually begins around 6 months old. The first teeth that appear are usually the lower incisors, commonly known as the two front teeth. Help ease the pain of teething by using a clean, cool washcloth to gently massage the gums. Offer the child a cool teething ring that is age appropriate. Always supervise for risk of choking. At the first sign of teeth, buy a children's toothbrush and brush the child's teeth without toothpaste.
Video: Caring for Infant Teeth at Home
Introduce a children's toothpaste that is safe to swallow and does not contain fluoride. Teach and supervise your child to use a pencil-eraser-size dot of toothpaste, and to always spit the toothpaste out.
Children should have the complete set of 20 primary teeth around the age of 3. Daily brushing and flossing is a must. Make oral care a family event. Brush and floss your own teeth at the same time as your child. You are setting a good example and demonstrating the correct techniques for brushing and flossing. At age 3, a child should start seeing a dentist for regular 6-month checkups.
Children begin to lose their first baby teeth around the age of 5. If your child hasn't lost any teeth by age 7, it would be a good idea to see a dentist to have an x-ray taken just as a precaution.
Losing baby teeth is seldom as painful a process as teething. If your 5- or 6-year-old complains of pain in the back of his mouth, it's probably the 6-year molars coming in. (He has no baby teeth there to fall out first). A topical painkiller, Ibuprofen, or acetaminophen can ease the ache, though it's unlikely to last long.
Most kids lose their last baby teeth around age 12 or 13, about the same time the 12-year molars appear. If your child has not had a consult with an orthodontist yet, and shows any signs of teeth crowding it is highly recommended to schedule a consult by age 12.
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. Wisdom teeth present potential problems when they are misaligned. When patients are around age 18, your dentist may recommend a pano x-ray be taken to evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth. Your dentist or oral surgeon may recommend that your wisdom teeth be extracted even before problems develop because removal is easier in young people, when the roots are not yet fully developed and the bone is less dense.