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Dental Care for Children & Babies

Dental Care for Babies and Children in Columbus, Ohio - Mark D. Raisch, DDS

Questions and Answers

As a family dentist, Dr. Raisch often advises parents on dental care for children and babies. This list of questions and answers are the most common questions parents have asked him about caring for their children’s dental health.

Q. When should my child first see a dentist?

A. After your child has his or her first tooth, you should schedule an initial interview. This really helps your child to become familiar and comfortable with our office. You can also bring your child along when you come for your own checkup to meet our staff and Dr. Raisch personally and get a first-hand, positive experience early on.

Q. What are the benefits of early dental visits?

A. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends a visit to the dentist by a child’s first birthday. This helps to prevent dental problems before they start and ensures proper care and dental hygiene right from the beginning. As well, many children can be at risk for early childhood caries (baby bottle tooth decay) and Dr. Raisch can help you learn what to do to reduce the risk of this happening to your child.

Q. How can I prevent tooth decay from nursing or using a bottle?

A. Once your child’s first baby teeth have erupted and your child is eating solid food, Dr. Raisch recommends that you ease off on breast feeding. Children should not fall asleep with a bottle of milk or juice. Plain water in a bottle is best for dental health if your child still really wants a bottle to sleep with. Offer fruit juices and beverages in a cup, rather than in a bottle as soon as your child is ready.

Q. When should bottle-feeding be stopped?

A. Between 12-14 months old, your child should start drinking from a cup, gradually easing off on drinking any liquids from a bottle.

Q. When should I start cleaning my baby's teeth?

A. The key to early childhood dental health is establishing good oral hygiene as early as you can. You can clean your baby’s gums with a cloth and water or a very soft infant toothbrush. When your child’s teeth begin to erupt, you can start using an age-appropriate, soft toothbrush. Just smear a very small amount of fluoridated toothpaste on the brush twice a day and help your child learn how to brush their own teeth. From ages two to five, use a little more toothpaste on the brush, a pea-size amount is best.

Q. Are baby teeth really that important to my child?

A. It is very important to have healthy baby teeth. Baby teeth help your child to chew properly and learn to speak well, and they help to form a path for permanent teeth to grow into. As well, recent studies have shown that children with poor baby teeth can have learning problems due to painful episodes with their teeth.

Q. What should I do if my child has a toothache?

A. Rinse the painful area in the mouth with a wash of warm salt water. If the child’s face is swollen, you can apply a cold compress to help reduce swelling. Do not apply pain medication directly to your child’s teeth or gums. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Raisch as soon as possible to take care of the problem.

Q. How often does my child need to see the dentist?

A. Schedule your child for routine check-ups every six months to prevent dental problems and cavities. This will also help to teach a life-long habit of good oral hygiene and dental care.

Q. How do dental sealants work?

A. Dental sealants fill in crevices on the surfaces of teeth, effectively preventing food particles from adhering to teeth and causing cavities. Applying sealant to the teeth is a safe and fast procedure that is not uncomfortable for a child. Sealants can provide effective protection for many years. Click here for more information on sealants.