As parents, we love to see our kids smile—and we do everything to make sure they keep that beautiful smile from the moment they get their first tooth. As dentists, we care about that too—and we’re here to help keep their smile beautiful, both in the office and at home. To help you with the latter, we’ve compiled this list of questions you might have when you’re not in our office—and a few questions that you might not want to ask in front of your kids at the dentist’s (like about the tooth fairy!).
How soon should my kids see the dentist?
The American Dental Association recommends kids make an appointment with the dentist by their first birthday. By age two, your kids can start brushing on their own to establish independence (though you should do a quick check and help regularly).
How can I teach my children to brush (well)?
If your kids love to play on the tablet or computer, use it to make brushing fun! To make sure they are brushing long enough, use these fun videos or download one of these cool apps to make brushing for two minutes fun. You can also set alarms with cool ring tones to remind them to brush every morning and evening.
How often do my kids need dental cleanings?
Kids usually need to have their teeth cleaned twice a year, though your dentist may recommend more appointments if there is cause for concern.
How can I help my kids if they are afraid of the dentist?
If you want your children to (hopefully!) enjoy a lifetime of dentist appointments, choose a dentist that is comfortable with kids. A good dentist should be good with your kids, and a good listener that can answer your questions: two keys to helping your kids love (and not fear!) the dentist. If you have a child that doesn’t like surprises, make sure you talk to your child about the dentist before you go. Practice the dentist appointment at home to make them more comfortable, and read books that can help put them at ease and make their experience positive.
How can I prevent cavities if my kids have deep pits and grooves in their mouth?
Your doctor may recommend dental sealants for your kids as another way to protect their teeth. Dental sealants are painted on your child’s teeth, forming a barricade against unwanted invaders, such as plaque and food. The sealants don’t take very long to apply, and the benefits are long-term. Dental sealants can last for many years. Your dentist can check the quality of the dental sealants at regular dentist appointments.
Does soda cause cavities?
While an occasional soda is okay (especially if followed by a brushing), try to keep your kids’ soda intake to a minimum. Sodas, even diet sodas, contain sugar which can mingle with bacteria in your kids’ mouth (and yours) to form acid. The acid from this reaction attacks teeth and can decay outer and interior tooth enamel. If your kids do have a soda, have them follow the drink with water once they are finished. If you have any questions about sodas and your kids’ teeth, make sure you follow up with your dentist at their next dentist appointment or with a quick email.
When should my child get braces?
The answer to this question depends on the severity of your child’s alignment issues. Talk to your dentist at appointments about any issues they find, and ask them for the name of an orthodontist they recommend. If you don’t want to have to schedule appointments at two different offices, choose a dentist that is certified to provide orthodontic services (like Dr. Thomas and Dr. Gibson!).
How long are my kids going to need braces?
The amount of time varies from child to child, dependent upon their specific condition. Some kids need to only wear braces for 6 months, while others may need braces for 24 months.
How much does the tooth fairy give for each tooth?
The average amount given by the tooth fairy is about $4 for each tooth (per surveys and polls done in 2014). Interestingly, there is a discrepancy in the amount given by mothers and fathers, with dads tending to be more generous.
How do I answer “what does the tooth fairy do with all the teeth?”
There are a few theories we’ve heard about when it comes to this question. One theory is that the tooth fairy is using the teeth to make a town. If you want to give it a royal twist, we’ve read that she’s building a royal castle. Some of the teeth are ground down for different uses, hence the difference in payment from family to family (or tooth to tooth).