When should I take my child to the dentist for their first dental exam?

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. (www.aapd.org)

How often should my child see the dentist?

A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health. (www.aapd.org)

When should I start cleaning my child’s teeth? Is it ok using toothpaste on my child and what kind should I use?

Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. Parents should use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Once children are 3 to 6 years old, then the amount should be increased to a pea-size dollop and perform or assist your child’s tooth brushing. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing. If your child is unable to spit the toothpaste, wipe it off with a small towel or gauze. (www.aapd.org)

Are thumbsucking and pacifier habits bad for my child’s teeth?

Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of three, talk to your pediatric dentist to look at different options to address the habit. (www.aapd.org)