When should I bring my child to the dentist?
The American Dental Association and Dr. Lange recommend you schedule your child's first dental visit by age one.
What happens at my child's first dental visit?
During your child's first visit, Dr. Lange will review his or her
medical/dental histories and complete a thorough oral examination to
assess development, oral hygiene, injuries, cavities or other problems.
Dr. Lange and the Youthful Smiles Team will also review eating habits
and may provide dietary counseling after assessing your child's risk of
developing tooth decay. Your child may have his or her teeth cleaned,
depending on the age. The Youthful Smiles Team will also provide
information regarding oral development, teething, pacifier or thumb
sucking habits and injury prevention.
How do I clean my baby's mouth?
Begin cleaning the baby's mouth during the first few days after birth.
After every feeding, wipe the baby's gums either with a clean, wet
gauze pad or with a washcloth or towel. This removes plaque and
residual food and helps children become accustomed to having their
When do I start brushing my baby's teeth?
When your infant's teeth begin to erupt it is important to clean them
regularly. You may continue to use a gauze pad or cloth to clean the
incisors after feedings until the back teeth (molars) begin to erupt
(usually around 12 months of age). Once a molar appears, brush all
teeth gently with a child's size soft toothbrush and water.
When is my child old enough to start brushing on their own?
Brush and floss your child's teeth until he or she is at least six
years old. By age six or seven, children should be able to brush their
own teeth twice a day-with supervision until about age 10 or 11, to
make sure they are doing a thorough job.
Do I really need to floss?
Flossing removes plaque between the teeth where a toothbrush can't
reach. Because flossing is a difficult skill to master, you should
floss your child's teeth until he or she can do it alone.
Is there fluoride in Chico's water?
There is no fluoride in Chico's water.
Why is fluoride important?
Cavities used to be a fact of life. But during the past few decades,
tooth decay has been dramatically reduced. The key reason: fluoride.
Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in all water sources,
including the oceans. Research has shown that fluoride not only
prevents cavities, it also helps repair the early stages of tooth decay
even before the decay is visible.
How do I prevent decay of primary teeth?
As soon as teeth appear in the mouth, decay can occur. One of the risk
factors for early childhood cavities (sometimes called baby bottle
tooth decay) is frequent and prolonged exposure of a baby's teeth to
liquids containing sugar. This includes milk, breast milk, formula and
I put my baby to bed with a bottle... is this OK?
Tooth decay can occur if a baby is put to bed with a bottle that
contains any beverage other than water. There is also a risk if parents
or caregivers use milk, formula or juice as a regular pacifier for a
fussy baby. Encourage children to drink from a cup by their first
birthday, and discourage frequent or prolonged use of a training cup.
Should I be concerned with thumb sucking?
Sucking is a natural reflex and infants and young children may suck on
thumbs, fingers, pacifiers and other objects. Thumb sucking that
persists beyond the eruption of the permanent teeth can cause problems
with tooth alignment and the proper growth of the mouth. To help your
child, praise them when they are not sucking their thumb.
How does diet affect my child?
What you eat and how often you eat can affect your teeth. Plaque, a
sticky film of bacteria, constantly forms on our teeth. When we eat
food or drink beverages that contain sugar or starch, the bacteria
produce acids that attack tooth enamel. Frequent snacking may mean
frequent acid attacks and an increased risk for tooth decay. Other
factors that promote tooth decay are the amount of bacteria in your
mouth and lack of exposure to fluoride.
What are dental sealants?
A sealant is a material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of back
teeth. The sealant acts as a barrier, protecting the decay-prone areas
of the teeth from accumulating plaque that results in acid attacks and
Pits and fissures are depressions and grooves in the surface of the
teeth that often are difficult to keep clean because toothbrush
bristles cannot reach into them. The sealant forms a thin covering that
keeps plaque and food out and decreases the risk of tooth decay.
Sealing a tooth is fast and there is virtually no discomfort. Dr. Lange
will condition the chewing surfaces to help the sealant adhere to the
tooth, and then apply the sealant to the tooth enamel. She will check
the sealants at every six month check-up appointment and will maintain
them for no additional charge.