Dental Information Center
There is a lot to learn about your children’s teeth and keeping them healthy. Children’s Choice Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics in New Carrollton, MD would like to share some of the vast knowledge we have about children’s dental health, pediatric dentistry and our practice. Read on to take advantage of this valuable information. If you have questions about topics not covered here, we encourage you to call us anytime.
When should my child first visit an orthodontist?
Age 7 is a good time for a child’s first orthodontic evaluation. This preliminary exam will indicate potential bite problems to track their progression.
Why is early orthodontic treatment important?
It is easier to correct orthodontic issues when children are young because their skeletons are still growing and flexible. Orthodontists can take a two-step approach to first make room in the mouth for permanent teeth and then properly align them in the second step.
Why do teeth become crooked?
Teeth can become unaligned due to several different factors, including crowding, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting and premature loss of baby teeth.
How do orthodontists move teeth?
Teeth are moved by applied pressure from orthodontic appliances such as braces, brackets and retainers. Over time, the orthodontist will increase the pressure to allow the teeth to move into place.
Does it hurt?
Some pain is normal when teeth begin to move. It is usually during the first 24 to 72 hours. Over the counter pain medications can help alleviate the discomfort.
Every person gets two sets of teeth during the course of their life. The first set are primary or baby teeth, which get replaced by secondary or permanent teeth, which come in during adolescence and must last the rest of your life.
Your child will typically start teething when they reach 6-8 months of age. They will get 20 primary teeth by around 3 years old. These teeth fall out to make room for permanent teeth during childhood and adolescence.
Your 32 adult teeth include incisors, canines, bicuspids, molars and wisdom teeth, which come in last and often need to be removed.
Brushing, flossing and regular bi-annual check-ups are essential to make your teeth last
Children’s Oral Health FAQs
When should I schedule my child’s first dental visit?
We recommend seeing a pediatric dentist at 1 year or when the child’s first tooth comes in, whichever happens first.
How can I get my child to brush?
- Brush Their Teeth While They Lay in Your Lap
- Brush with Them
- Let Them Play with the Toothbrush
- Make a Game of Brushing
- Make Brushing a Regular Daily Activity
- Use Singing or Sound Effects for Fun
How often should my child brush?
Ideally, 2-3 times per day but at least two.
How often should my child floss?
Once or more per day.
How often does my child need dental check-ups?
Every six months is ideal unless otherwise directed by your pediatric dentist.
How is a pediatric dentist different from a family dentist?
A pediatric dentist has additional specialty training and only treats children from infants
How can I clean my baby’s teeth?
We recommend a soft toothbrush designed exclusively for babies.
Are baby teeth important?
Yes they are. These primary teeth allow your child to chew their food and speak clearly. They also act as a placeholder for secondary teeth.
Is it painful to lose a tooth?
If a tooth falls out naturally, it is usually not painful at all. If your child tries to force it, it may hurt a bit. Always see your dentist if your child is experiencing dental pain.
What can I do for my child’s toothache?
Start by making a dental appointment as soon as possible. Children’s acetaminophen can be used to manage pain. Have the child rinse with warm salt water to soothe the irritated area and apply a cold compress to the face if swelling occurs.
Can pacifiers and thumb sucking harm a child’s teeth?
They can if these habits persist past age 3 but many children stop on their own. Tell your pediatric dentist your concerns at your child’s regular check-ups.
At what age is brushing with toothpaste recommended?
Cleaning a child’s mouth is important right from the start and toothpaste can be added in a very small amount as soon as teeth begin coming in. By age 2, a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is appropriate. Always supervise your child’s brushing. Click here to find out to right amount of toothpaste for your child to use.
How often should my child get a new toothbrush?
Toothbrushes for children and adults should be replaced every 3 months to ensure effectiveness. Some electric toothbrushes can last 6 months. Be sure to thoroughly rinse all toothbrushes with hot water after every use.
When do primary teeth come in and fall out?
Most children begin teething at about 6 months and all 20 baby teeth should be in place by age 3. They will usually begin falling out and being replaced by permanent teeth at ages 6-12.
What are common dental procedures for children?
- Oral Health Education
- Exams and Cleanings
- Digital X-Rays
- Fillings and Crowns
- Early Orthodontics and Invisalign for Teens
Click here to learn more about common dental procedures for children.
My Child had a procedure. What do I do now?
Our team will review each procedure with you and your child. If you ever have a question, please do not hesitate to call the office or email us. Click here for at home post-operative instructions for common dental procedures for children.
My child has had dental trauma. What do I do?
Call us. Dr. Grant and her team will walk you through exactly what needs to be done.
Early Childhood Caries (ECC)
What is ECC?
Early childhood caries is an infectious disease caused by bacteria in your child’s mouth. Other names used to describe this disease are baby bottle caries, baby bottle tooth decay and bottle rot because the bacteria are often fed by the sugars in liquids given to babies in bottles, such as formula, milk and juice. Early childhood caries are also caused by starches eaten by
Is my child is at risk for ECC?
In a word, yes. However, eating or drinking anything other than water before sleep without cleaning the teeth increases the risk.
Where does the ECC bacteria come from?
Children are not born with the bacteria that cause ECC, they typically get it from a parent or primary caregiver. Adults who have had cavities, especially untreated ones, carry the bacteria, which is passed through saliva.
Can I lessen my child's risk of ECC?
One way to help prevent ECC is to go for dental check-ups and have your cavities filled while pregnant and/or caring for your baby. The bacteria can be passed by sharing utensils and drinking vessels so avoid doing that when possible.
ECC Prevention Tips:
- Brush Baby’s Teeth with Dry Toothbrush
- from 6 Months
- Brush Child’s Teeth with Toothpaste from Age 2
- Hold Your Baby During Feeding
- Remove the Bottle from Sleeping Baby
- Start Regular Dental Visits at 1 Year
- Stick to a feeding schedule and limit between meal snacking.
- Supervise Your Child’s Brushing
- Use Water Only in Bedtime/Naptime Bottles
- Wipe Your Baby’s Teeth/Gums After Eating
How can I detect ECC?
Early detection is possible by simply looking for white spots on your child’s teeth. A thorough check of your child’s mouth on a regular basis is recommended in addition to regular check-ups with the dentist.
Dental Problems and School Performance
Many things can affect your child’s performance at school but you may not have considered dental problems as a major factor. According to a fact sheet by the National Maternal & Child Oral health Resource Center at Georgetown University, there is a connection between oral health and learning.
Here Are a Few Points of Interest:
- Bad Oral Health Impacts Self-Esteem
- Dental Pain Hinders Concentration/Causes Absences
- Missing Teeth Limits Food Options/Impacts Nutrition
- Tooth Loss/Decay Can Impair Speech
To read the entire fact sheet, click here.
What insurances do you accept?
Please call our office or email us to discuss your specific insurance.
What methods of payment do you accept?
Click here to see our financial policy.
How do we get to your office?
Click here for directions.
Is there public transportation to your office?
Yes, the closest metro station is New Carrollton Metro Station. Click here for directions.
Useful Dental Links
Children’s Choice Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics is pleased to recommend some industry websites for great information about pediatric dentistry. For further educational material on children’s dentistry, check out the following link.