What Parents Need to Know About Brushing, Cavities, and Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist

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Thank you to ICTeeth for sponsoring this article.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and we are excited to sit down with ICTeeth to give us the best tidbits on children’s oral health. 

When should I first take my child to the dentist?

We and the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentists) recommend seeing your child by 12 months of age. Studies have shown families that establish a dental home early have less dental related pain, lower annual dental costs, and a more positive dental experience overall.

Why a pediatric dentist?

Because we are experts in children’s oral health! Pediatric dentists spend an extra two-three years after 4 years of dental school to learn techniques that make your child’s dental visit educational, safe and fun. We are trained in the most advanced materials and latest technology specifically for children including those with special health care needs.

What happens at a first dental visit?

The first dental visit is a chance for the parent, child and dentist (dental team) to meet and begin a relationship. To provide the best dental care we can, we will discuss your little one’s oral hygiene routine and habits, provide nutrition counseling and discuss trauma prevention. We will brush and floss his/her teeth while offering proper guidance. Depending on the child’s age and number of teeth erupted radiographs may be taken. The dentist will perform a comprehensive dental exam discussing any findings and recommendations. Lastly with your consent we will apply fluoride treatment. Your child will walk out with a sparkling and clean smile along with a dental hygiene goody bag and a prize of course!

Best way to prevent cavities for my little one?

There are numerous ways to prevent cavities! First, it is important to have a dental routine at home including brushing his/her teeth with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. Also, limit sugar and starch intake (including juices) making sure your child has a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables.  Lastly, make sure to visit the dentist regularly for dental check-ups!

What if my child doesn’t like brushing – how can I get him or her to sit still?

It can be very frustrating trying to brush your kiddo’s teeth especially when the only thing you want to do is to go to sleep. Our biggest advice is to try to make ‘brushing your teeth’ fun! Whether it is letting them choose their toothbrush or listening to their favorite song while brushing. For the times when your child continues to be a wiggle worm, have them lie down on their back with their head in your lap. This allows you to brush their teeth effectively without you having to be flexible.

Best toothpaste / toothbrush for kids?

The best toothpaste is any toothpaste that contains fluoride and is approved by the American Dental Association. We and the AAPD recommend infants & toddlers ages 0-2 to a smear or rice grain of toothpaste, while children 3-6 years of age to a pea size of toothpaste. As for toothbrushes, the best are the ones that get your child excited to brush his/her teeth, whether that is a manual toothbrush with a Disney Princess or an electric toothbrush shaped like a panda! Typically, toothbrush sizes are associated with the child’s age and you want to make sure it has a soft-bristle head. Brushing 2x a day is recommended with brushing prior to bed the most important in  preventing cavities. Also, do not forget to floss when your child’s baby molars start to have contact!

How can moms connect with you?

Moms can connect with us in a variety of ways. They can visit our website at www.icteeth.com, email us at [email protected] or call us at 316-681-3228. For  social media enthused moms, you can direct message us at our Facebook page or our Instagram page.


Small faces—BIG Smiles!
You will not find a better place to make sure your kids have fun and have a healthy smile! Our doctors and staff are passionate about providing the best quality dental services in town and making sure every child has a great time!

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