Kids’ Dental Health Frequently Asked Questions

When Will My Child’s First Teeth Erupt?

When your baby is born, they have 20 teeth below the gums.  Those first teeth usually start to erupt anywhere from when your baby is 6 months through the first year.  By the time your child is 3 years old, they usually have their full set of baby teeth.

What are teething signs and symptoms?

All parents can attest to the trials and tribulations that teething brings.  They notice that their baby may be sleepless, fussy, irritable, drooling a lot, or not hungry.  These uncomfortable symptoms pass once your baby’s teeth have erupted.  But, this is definitely not the most fun experience.  (Teething does not cause fevers, rashes, or diarrhea.  If your baby is experiencing these symptoms you may want to call your pediatrician.)

What is the right amount of toothpaste to use for my child?

It’s not necessary to swirl toothpaste across the entire brush head.  In fact, a small amount of toothpaste is all that’s necessary.  For a child under three, we usually recommend a rice-grain sized amount of paste. For kids three and over, we suggest a pea-sized amount.  A little goes a long way.

When should you start brushing their teeth with toothpaste?

Your child’s first teeth can decay.  And having tooth decay as an infant or toddler, increases the chance of having decay as an adult.  So it’s important to start brushing with a flouride toothpaste as soon as you see their pearly whites peeking through their gums. 

What is a good age for my child to have their first visit to the dentist?

We recommend that you schedule your first appointment when your child’s first tooth erupts or before their first birthday.

When does my child need to begin having their teeth flossed?

Flossing is as important as brushing – so we suggest once that you begin flossing as soon as possible.   However, if your child has two teeth that are touching, we highly recommend you floss those in order to prevent decay between the teeth.

How do you prevent baby bottle tooth decay?

We recommend that you wean your baby from the bottle as soon as possible.  It’s also best to not give your child sugary drinks or foods between meals.  And it’s especially important that your child is not put to bed with a bottle because that is most strongly associated with decay in the front top teeth.

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Pediatric Dentistry Chicago

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