What should I use to clean my baby's teeth?
The use of a soft cloth, gauze or toothbrush for children 0-2 years will adequately remove plaque and bacteria that can lead to cavities. Caregivers should clean the teeth at least once a day (most importantly before bedtime following the last feeding). Infant non-fluoridated toothpaste can be used. Until your child is able to spit out the toothpaste without swallowing it, we recommend not to use fluoridated toothpaste.
How can I prevent baby bottle tooth decay and early childhood cavities?
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water. If swelling is present, place a cold pack on the area. Over the counter Children’s Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin) are recommended for the pain. DO NOT place aspirin on the gums as this can cause harm to the tissue. Please, see a dentist or healthcare professional as soon as possible.
Is fluoride toothpaste and fluoridated water good for my child?
Use of fluoride for the prevention of cavities can be safe and effective in decreasing cavities when given in the correct dosage. If your water supply contains less than 0.6ppm (private wells), a dietary supplement may be recommended for your child (6 months to 16 years old). If your child is unable to spit out toothpaste, then toothpaste with fluoride should be avoided. It is acceptable to begin using toothpaste (pea-size amount) with children 2-3 years of age. Prior to that, parents should clean the child’s teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. It is important to contact a pediatric dentist to make sure your child is not receiving excessive or inadequate amounts of daily fluoride.
If my child has tooth or mouth pain, what can I do to help?
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and if swelling is present place a cold pack on the area. Over the counter Children’s Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin) are recommended for any pain. DO NOT place aspirin on the gums, this can cause harm to the tissue. Please, see a dentist or healthcare professional as soon as possible.
What can I do to stop my child’s thumb sucking and pacifier habits? Is it harming my child's teeth?
Many oral habits, such as thumb and pacifier sucking, only become problems if they persist for long periods of time. This is very normal in infants and young children. Most children stop these habits on their own by age three. Habit-breaking appliances can be used for children who want to stop but need an active reminder. Long-term oral habits such as thumb or finger sucking, mouth breathing, and tongue thrusting can produce dental and skeletal changes. The amount of change is directly related to frequency, duration, intensity, and direction of the forces applied.
What should I do if my child has a tooth knocked out?
First, remain calm. Second, locate the tooth. Always hold the tooth by the crown (not the root). Third (if possible), determine whether it is a baby tooth or a permanent tooth. If it is a baby tooth, do not replace the tooth in the socket. For permanent teeth, reimplant by applying mild finger pressure. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the pediatric dentist.