Parents – especially new ones – are often unsure about things like when to take their child to the dentist for the first time. So today we’re sharing some of the most common questions we’re asked about pediatric dentistry in Newton. And we’re also providing our answers regarding the best way to care for children’s teeth.

When should I plan my child’s first visit to the dentist?
We recommend making an appointment as soon as your child’s first tooth breaks through the gum. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommended that children are seen six months after their first tooth erupts, or at one year of age, whichever occurs first.

How is pediatric dentistry in Newton different from other dentists?
All dental specialists start by completing dental school, then continue their education with several additional years of specialized training. During training in the field of pediatric dentistry, your doctor gained extensive knowledge and experience in treating infants, children, and adolescents.

What will happen during my child’s first visit to the dentist?
The first visit is typically short and simple. In most cases, the focus is on getting to know your child and giving you some fundamental information about dental care. The doctor will check your child’s teeth for health and placement and look for any potential problems with the jaw and gums.

How can I prepare my child for his/her initial dental appointment?
The best way to prepare is to maintain a positive attitude. Reinforce that it’s important to keep his or her gums and teeth healthy and that the doctor will help them do that.

How often should my child visit the dentist?
We usually recommend scheduling checkups every six months for pediatric dentistry in Newton. Depending on the condition of your child’s dental health, we may recommend more frequent visits.

What’s the best way to clean my baby’s teeth?
Even before your baby’s first tooth breaks through the gum, you should clean his or her gums after feedings with a soft, damp washcloth. As soon as the first tooth appears, you can start using a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head.

What causes cavities?
There are certain types of bacteria that live in our mouths. When they come into contact with sugary foods that have been left on our teeth, acids are produced that eventually eat through the enamel and create holes – or cavities – in the teeth.

How can I help my child avoid cavities?
Be sure that your child brushes his or her teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Flossing daily is also important because flossing can reach spots between the teeth that brushing can’t.

What should I do if my child sucks his thumb?
A large majority of children suck their fingers thumbs as infants, and most grow out of it by the age of four. If your child continues sucking after permanent teeth come in, let us know and we can check to see if any problems may be arising from the habit.

When should my child have dental X-rays taken?
In pediatric dentistry in Newton, we recommend having X-rays taken around the age of two or three. Permanent teeth begin coming in around age six, and X-rays help make sure your child’s jaw and teeth are properly aligned and healthy.

If you have additional questions regarding pediatric dentistry in Newton that we haven’t addressed today, feel free to call our office or schedule an appointment for your child to have a checkup.

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