One of the most common question we are asked is "do you take kids and at what age should I bring my child in for their first dental check up?" Yes! We love kids at Parkland Pacific Dental. As a general rule we usually suggest children begin having their teeth cleaned and checked around the age of 3. However each and every child has different tolerance levels. Some children we see will jump right in to our chair and allow us to treat them when they are just 2 where others require more encouraging and are not ready to allow us to look in their mouths. The key here is that we never want to make it a scary experience for the child so we will work with them on an individual basis. We will never force a child to do more than they are ready for. We will encourage the parents to bring them in every six months and work on gaining their trust until they are comfortable with us and are ready to have their teeth cleaned and checked.
Another commonly asked question is "when will my child start getting teeth?" The vast majority of children will get their two lower front teeth between the ages of 4-7 months. However, some may not get their first tooth until they are a year old. Don't panic as there is a huge range of normal when it comes to getting and losing baby teeth. Although most children lose their first tooth at age 5 or 6 some will start as young as 4 where others wont get to meet the tooth fairy until 7. Your child will usually be the first to know when a tooth is loose because they will feel it moving. A common misconception is that if a baby tooth gets decay that it is not necessary to fix it since the tooth will fall out eventually anyway. The truth is that baby teeth have nerves just like adult teeth do and as with adult teeth if decay is allowed to spread it can eventually reach the nerve of the tooth can cause your child a considerable amount of pain and possible infection. Keep in mind that most children will not lose their last baby tooth until they are 10-12 yrs old, therefore it is just as important to treat decay in a baby tooth as it is an adult tooth. As always, our goal is to prevent decay from happening in the first place through proper care.
"When should I let my child brush and floss his/her own teeth?" You should continue to help your child brush their teeth twice a day until they can show that they can do a good job on their own. For most children, this occurs between ages 6 and 8. Brush after breakfast and before bed. Keep your child’s teeth free of food. Molars in the back of the mouth have lots of little grooves and crevices and bits of food can hide in and cause bacteria to grow. Once children have the coordination and dexterity, they can brush on their own. However, be sure to inspect after each brushing and go over spots your child may have missed. We always recommend using a soft nylon brush or electric toothbrush with a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste. Begin flossing your child's teeth daily as soon as any teeth are touching together. After about the age of 9 children should be able to floss their own teeth. There are many products for kids on the market to make brushing and flossing a fun experience for your child. Good brushing and flossing habits are an important part of your child’s overall health. The earlier you instill good habits the better off your child will be, and the rewards will last a lifetime.
I hope I was able to answer some of your questions but as always whenever you have any questions about your childs teeth please give Parkland Pacific Dental a call @ 253-531-1177 or find us on facebook. We look forward to providing you and your family with many years of healthy and beautiful smiles.