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At Pediatric Dental Care, our staff is committed to helping your child have a welcoming and fun dental visit. To help your child feel more secure, we allow Mom or Dad to accompany them during the appointment.

When should we begin using toothpaste, and how much should we use?

As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing 2-3 time per day using a fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Use a "smear" of toothpaste to brush the teeth for children under 2 years of age. Use a pea-sized amount for children ages 2-5. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing. A parent should assist with brushing at least up through age 7.

What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.

How do dental sealants work?

Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years.

When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?

In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.

Are baby teeth really that important to my child?

Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.

What should I use to clean my baby's teeth?

A toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime.

When should bottle feeding be stopped?

Children should be weaned from the bottle at age 12-14 months of age.

Should I worry about thumb and finger sucking?

Thumb sucking is perfectly normal for infants. Many stop by age 2. Prolonged thumb sucking can allow crooked teeth or malocclusions and sometimes lead to speech impediments. If the habit continues beyond age 3, a professional evaluation is recommended. Dr. Karr will be glad to suggest ways to address a prolonged thumb sucking or other developmental habits. See our habit management section.