Dr. Jed Best, everyone’s favorite pediatric dentist, is our guest blogger in honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month. He answers questions about how to start kids early with good dental care, helping protect their teeth for years to come.
When should a child’s first visit take place?
Either 6 months after the first tooth erupts or at one year of age.
Why go to the dentist at that age?
To help prevent any dental problems. Many issues are totally preventable.
Are baby teeth important?
Yes they are. They help children speak and chew naturally. In addition, they are very important in helping the permanent teeth erupt properly.
Are thumb sucking and pacifier habits harmful?
Only if they persist for a long period of time. Often these habits stop on their own.
How often should a child see a pediatric dentist?
A check up is recommended every six months. However, this may vary depending on the child’s personal oral health.
When should we begin using toothpaste?
As soon as possible is best. Under three years of age, only a smear of toothpaste should be used. From ages 3-6, the size of a pea is the recommended amount. Also, it should be emphasized that an adult should assist in brushing, because children often do not have the manual dexterity to properly brush.