Dentistry For Kids

Children’s teeth begin forming before birth. As early as four months, the first primary, or baby teeth, erupt through the gums. All 20 of the primary teeth usually appear by age three, although their pace and order of eruption varies.

Permanent teeth begin appearing around age six. This process will continue until approximately age 21. To help ensure oral health and a lifetime of good oral care habits follow these key preventive measures:

  • Limit sugar intake to help prevent tooth decay.
  • Make sure children get enough fluoride, either through drinking water or as a treatment at the dentist’s office to strengthen tooth enamel and resist decay. This may include fluoride supplements in areas where drinking water is not optimally fluoridated. Be sure to ask your dentist about supplements to determine if they are needed.
  • Consider dental sealants. Dental sealants to provide a further layer of protection against cavities. They’re made of plastic and are bonded to the teeth by the dental team.
  • Teach kids to brush and floss regularly and properly. Try creating ways to make brushing and flossing fun for your child in order to encourage a good oral health routine


  • Baby bottle tooth decay: To avoid this common problem, wipe gums with gauze or clean washcloth and water after feeding. When teeth appear, brush daily with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Also remember to put the child to bed with a bottle of water instead of milk or juice.
  • Thumb sucking: The catchall term for the various oral sucking habits of children is “non-nutritive sucking.” This includes thumb or finger sucking and the use of pacifiers. Most contemporary pediatric health providers agree that these habits have important formative and nurturing functions and, at least for the first few years of life (up until about age four), should be ignored. There is, however, universal agreement that sucking should cease before permanent teeth begin to appear. Consult your dentist on your child’s sucking habits.
  • White spots on teeth: As soon as the first tooth appears, usually at about six months, begin cleaning your child’s teeth daily and schedule a dental appointment.


  • Fear of the dentist: Allow the child to sit in a parent’s lap during the exam to make them feel more comfortable.
  • Difficulty creating an oral care routine: Try involving the whole family, and be a role model. For example, brush together at the same time each day to start creating a good habit.
  • Stains from antibiotics: Speak to the pediatrician before any medication is prescribed.


  • Love of sweets: Try to give your children healthy snack options like vegetables, yogurt or cheese.
  • Stains from antibiotics: Speak to the pediatrician before any medication is prescribed.
  • Oral injuries from sports: Encourage children to wear mouth guards during sports to protect their teeth from any potential accidents.


  • Braces: Make sure that teens brush well around braces and use a floss threader to remove all food particles.
  • Oral injuries from sports: Encourage children to wear mouth guards during sports to protect their teeth from any potential accidents.

When To Start Proper Oral Hygiene For Kids:

Many parents want to know: At what age should I brush and floss my child’s teeth? A good rule is to start flossing as soon as the child has teeth that are in contact with each other, usually around age two to three years. Once teeth reach this point, food particles can get caught between them and foster the growth of bacteria and the development of plaque. Not all children need to have their teeth flossed at this age, so ask your dentist for advice. But the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents should be brushing a toddler’s teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled brush specially designed for toddlers’ small mouths.

And good oral care starts before teeth appear. The AAP recommends that, after a feeding, parents wipe a baby’s gums with a soft washcloth or a baby toothbrush using water only (no toothpaste). Once a child reaches 12 months of age, start brushing any existing teeth twice each day. Some dentists recommend using a non-fluoride toothpaste before a child reaches two years of age, but ask to be sure. Water and an age-appropriate toothbrush may suffice.

Once children reach two years of age, encourage them to brush their own teeth. Parents, however, should still follow up and brush them again to make sure they’re clean. If a child resists having his or her teeth brushed, parents need to get creative and make the process fun, like “looking for treasure behind the teeth.” And of course, using a themed brush with your child’s favorite cartoon characters can make brushing more enjoyable.