FAQs about caring for your Child’s Oral Health

caring for kids oral healthSanta Cruz, Scotts Valley CA

As parents, you want the best for your children. You want to keep them happy and healthy in every way—including by protecting their smiles. However, some of the things you learned as children when it comes to dental health and hygiene have become outdated. Parents and first-time parents, in particular, usually have lots of questions about how to care for their children’s teeth. That’s why your Scotts Valley family dentists at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry compiled this list of the answers to our most frequently asked questions about pediatric dentistry.

When should I start taking my child to the dentist?

The latest guidelines from the American Dental Association recommend children start making regular dental visits when they reach their first birthday. You might want to bring your child in even earlier if their first baby tooth erupts from the gum line before that.

Any tips on cleaning my baby’s teeth?

You should start getting your child accustomed to the routine of daily dental care beginning at birth. After your child feeds, wipe their gums clean using a damp washcloth. You need to have a specially sized toothbrush to clean your baby’s teeth once they erupt. Start introducing actual tooth brushing once your baby becomes a toddler and has a full or mostly full mouth of teeth. Use a child-sized toothbrush and a non-fluoridated brand of toothpaste. You’ll have to brush them yourself at first, but as your toddler gets older, start involving them in the routine of doing it themselves, so they learn good brushing habits.

What if my child loses a baby tooth before the permanent tooth develops?

Your child will lose his or baby teeth at some point, but this may happen ahead of schedule due to an accident or a cavity. Even though these teeth are temporary, your child needs them to bite and chew food, and also to aid in the development of speech. At Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, we can replace a lost baby tooth with a space maintainer, which will maintain your child’s tooth alignment until the permanent tooth is ready to erupt.

Why is my child getting cavities, even though he or she brushes twice a day?

Daily brushing and flossing is a key component to dental hygiene, but it’s not total protection against tooth decay. Cavities can form due to the presence of acids that wear away your enamel—the protective outer layer of your tooth structure. Eating a diet high in sugars and starches encourages these acids to thrive because they become a food source for the bacteria that occur naturally in your mouth. The acid content in your child’s mouth also may be high if he or she regularly drinks fruit juice, sports drinks, or soft drinks.

Kids Care in Santa Cruz

At Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry, we will make the oral health of your child a priority. As part of that commitment, we emphasize a program of preventive care that includes encouraging good oral hygiene habits at home, performing cleanings and exams every six months, and conducting diagnostic tests to identify any potential problems before they become more serious. Our program of pediatric dentistry also includes preventive treatments such as sealants and fluoride treatments. We even can guide or assist in the facial growth and development of your child through Orthotropics®. Let us help set up your child for a lifetime of oral health. Schedule your initial appointment at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry today by calling (831) 438-4411 if you live in the areas of Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley, California.