Parent Dental FAQs

When should I schedule my child’s first dental appointment?

At Patrick Toms DMD, we like to see your child around the two year mark. That will allow us to get his/her dental records started, meet you and your family and answer any questions you have.

When should my child receive his/her first teeth cleaning?

Three years of age is a great time to begin teeth cleanings. We recommend having your child in our office every six months to ensure proper teeth development and oral health.

Should I brush my baby’s teeth?

Yes. Using a soft bristled brush once each day is a great way to gently remove plaque bacteria that can cause tooth decay. There are tooth brushes specifically designed for infants that can make brushing easier.

When should children start brushing with toothpaste?

We recommend starting to brush with fluoride toothpaste as soon as teeth begin to appear. A tiny smear of toothpaste is ideal for children two years of age or younger. A “pea-sized” amount is good for children ages 2-5. It’s important for parents to purchase age-appropriate tooth brushes and supervise and assist their children with brushing.

What is the best toothpaste for my child?

The main distinction is that kids should not have fluoride before the age of 2. If your child is under the age of 2, chose a toothpaste that is fluoride-free. If they are over the age of 2, fluoride toothpaste is recommended. Many toothpastes come in kid friendly flavors, too, which helps brushing to be enjoyable.

When should my child start flossing?

Flossing should begin as soon as two teeth are touching each other. Until your child is capable of flossing on his/her own, you should do this for them. Consider using a coated floss that glides easily and doesn’t hurt teeth.

How can I avoid baby bottle cavities?

Baby bottle cavities result from extended nursing on milk, formula and juices especially during bedtime or a nap. To help protect teeth, give your baby plain water whenever he/she is going to bed. Do not use a bottle as a pacifier, and do not dip pacifiers in any sugary substances, such as honey.

When should I consider orthodontics?

Your dentist will often recommend when a child is ready to see an orthodontist. Children can see an orthodontist as early as age seven for pre-screening. Some orthodontists may choose to use preventative measures to correct situations that might require braces if left untreated. These early meetings can also help parents plan for future orthodontic treatments.

Please contact us with any additional questions you have.