At Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, we love answering your questions about ways to keep your kids’ smiles healthy.  

When should my child see a dentist?  

One of the first steps in ensuring your child’s dental health is to schedule their first dental visit and maintain regular checkups every six months after that. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the first visit should take place by your child’s first birthday or whenever their first tooth is erupting (whichever one comes first.)  

When should I start brushing my child’s teeth?  

Good oral hygiene begins even before your child’s first tooth comes in. Wipe their gums gently with a clean, damp cloth after feedings. Once the first tooth appears, start using a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a rice-grain sized smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush their tooth/teeth twice a day. 

How can I encourage regular brushing and flossing?  

Making oral hygiene fun and engaging can help motivate your child. Let them choose a toothbrush in their favorite color or with their favorite character or flavored toothpaste. Try brushing together as a family or playing music to keep them on track for two minutes at a time.  

Are there any dietary tips to keep my child’s teeth healthy?  

A balanced diet plays a significant role in maintaining dental health. Limit sugary snacks and drinks and processed carbs, as they can contribute to tooth decay. Encourage a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, with limited snacks between meals.  

How can I protect my child’s teeth from cavities?  

In addition to regular brushing and flossing, be sure to plan for fluoride treatments and dental sealants. Fluoride strengthens the teeth and can be applied by the dentist during check-ups. Dental sealants provide a protective barrier on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (molars,) to significantly reduce the risk of cavities. 

How Do I Take Care of Orthodontic Appliances 

Keeping installed braces or orthodontic appliances in great condition by brushing them well and keeping them attached to the teeth will ensure they work properly. Attending regularly scheduled orthodontic appointments to continue to drive the appliances toward the finish line is critical. 

Lastly, after orthodontics, faithful wear of retainers as instructed by your doctor will keep your teeth in ideal alignment so you don’t have to put your braces back on. 

Schedule Your Child’s Dental Checkup Today  

Together, we can provide the best care for your child and help them achieve a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime. Schedule your child’s next checkup with Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan today!