Most pediatric dentists will agree that regular dental care should begin by one year of age, with a dental check-up at least twice each consecutive year for most children. Some children may need more frequent evaluations and care. In accordance with this recommendation, the following dental checklist for infants and toddlers has been provided by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry:
Clean the infant’s mouth with gauze after feedings and at bedtime. Consult your child’s pediatrician regarding fluoride supplements. Regulate feeding habits (bottle feeding and breastfeeding).
During this time, the first tooth should appear. Consult the Pediatric dentist for an examination. Brush teeth after each feeding and at bedtime with a small, soft-bristled brush. As the child begins to walk, stay alert of potential dental and/or facial injuries.
Follow the schedule of dental examinations and cleanings, as recommended by your child's pediatric dentist. Generally, dental examinations and cleanings are recommended every 6 months for children and adults.
Brushing with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste (smear or portion the size of a grain of rice) is appropriate at age 2.
Proper care of a child’s deciduous teeth (also known as “baby” or primary teeth) is very important as these teeth hold space for the future eruption of permanent teeth. If a baby tooth decays or is removed too early, the space necessary for the permanent teeth is lost and can only be regained through orthodontic treatment. Infected baby teeth can cause the permanent teeth to develop improperly resulting in stains, pits, and weaker teeth.
Most children begin losing their teeth around age of 6 – usually the front bottom teeth first. They continue to lose baby teeth until the age of 12 or 13 when all of the permanent teeth finally come through.
Generally, thumb-sucking before the age of two is normal and harmless. We encourage parents to stop thumb-sucking between 3-4 year of age. Prolonged thumb-sucking may contribute to crowded and/or crooked teeth development and bite problems.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends the following to ensure your child eats correctly to maintain a healthy body and teeth:
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Weinberg Medical Plaza,
642 Ulukahiki St., Suite 308
Kailua, Hawaii 96734-4439
Castle Professional Center,
46-001 Kamehameha Hwy. Suite 418
Kaneohe, HI 96744-3749