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5 Things Every Dentist Wants Every Parent to Know

If you are a parent taking your child to the dentist for the first time, then you probably have several questions. Pediatric dentists understand the concerns of parents. Below are five things that your child’s pediatric dentist wants you to know:

dentist for kids

Baby Teeth Are Important

Many people think that baby teeth do not require a lot of care because the child will eventually lose them. However, children need baby teeth for both chewing and speaking. Baby teeth also act as placeholders for the permanent teeth, and children who have problems with their baby teeth are likely to have problems with their permanent teeth.

Children Should Not Be Put To Sleep With a Bottle

A baby may sleep better if he or she is put to sleep with a bottle, but this is not a good idea. Putting a child to sleep with a bottle can lead to a condition called baby bottle tooth decay, which occurs when sugar from milk, juice or other sweet drinks clings to the baby’s teeth.

If the baby bottle tooth decay is severe, then the teeth may need to be extracted. To find or prevent tooth decay, regular dental visits should be made. Your local or personal dentist can provide you with more individualized, specific suggestions.

Personal Items Should Not Be Shared

Tooth decay is caused by bacteria. This bacteria can easily be transmitted from person to person through saliva. Toothbrushes, cups and eating utensils should not be shared.

Dental X-Rays Are Safe

The pediatric dentist will likely want to take an x-ray of your child’s teeth. There have been concerns raised about radiation exposure from x-rays. However, it is important to note that x-rays are very safe. Your child is only exposed to a small amount of radiation when getting an x-ray.

Sugary Foods and Beverages Should Be Limited

If your child consumes a lot of sugary foods and beverages, then he or she is more likely to develop tooth decay. Bacteria feeds on sugar. Sugary food and beverage consumption should be limited. Additionally, it is best for children to eat sugary snacks during meal time.

New parents often have a lot of questions about caring for their children’s teeth. Fortunately, pediatric dentists are available to address any concerns that you may have. Dentists want you to know that caring for baby teeth is important. They also want you to know that x-rays are safe, and personal items should not be shared. Furthermore, babies should not go to sleep with a bottle, and sugary food and beverage consumption should be limited.

Marlena Stoddard

Marlena Stoddard

Marlena Stoddard is a freelance writer who received her BA from the University of Georgia. She currently resides in Atlanta with her husband, two kids, and puppy Molly Belle.

Feel free to connect with Marlena on Twitter


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  • I completely agree with all of these as well. I think it’s so important to start our children out the right way right away. I think having their teeth properly cared for from the start is really going to help them out.

  • I am finicky about dental hygiene and I teach my children to do the same. But by gosh the school system wasnt keeping up to scratch. SO many sweets too many puddings. Until recently when they got it in their heads to promote healthy eating in schools. Suffice to say most children have dental issues because they ate too many sweets.

  • Good to know. I didn’t know that sleeping with a bottler could damage children’s teeth. Excellent tips!

  • This is a great tips. mDental care was important to my son and thanks god that he’s not using feeding bottle now.

  • These are all such great tips every parent should know! Dental care is so important especially for baby teeth. Fully agree that sugary food and drinks consumption should be limited as it leads to tooth decay.

  • Very useful advice. Also, the first experience with the dentist should be a very pleasant one for the child. Otherwise he will always be afraid of dentists later in life.

  • What is with sharing. So we went away with this other couple to the beach. On the 2ND day he mentions how he forgot his toothbrush and was using hers. DISGUSTING. And how lazy – what the little store ACROSS the street was too far?

  • Dental care is definitely important! However I hate taking my kids to the dentist. My younger 2 have not horrible teeth but they need a little extra care, and everytime I take them in the dentists talk to me like I dont know what I am doing.

  • These are great tips! They are actually great for adults, too!! I’m going to pass this along to my daughter for my 3 year old granddaughter!

  • Thank you for this information. I’d never thought it would be so hard to teach my boys how to take care of their teeth! I have cut back sugary drinks in the house, and taught them how to floss. It seems like a simple task lol but kids can be difficult sometimes 😛

  • Thank you for including the risk for tooth decay when leaving bottles. I’ve always been telling my friend not to do that but she insists that it keeps her sane when the baby is asleep. I know she’s a good mom but I should just show her this post.

  • I didn’t think apple juice was as sugary as it was until my son had a cavity in a baby tooth at age 3. Insurance doesn’t pay for fillings on a baby tooth typically. Watch juice intake.