From The Daniel Island News

Medical News
FAQ on children's dental health
By Dr. Isabel Driggers, Coastal Kids
Feb 1, 2012 - 11:52:17 AM

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, which means that our team at Coastal Kids Dental & Braces double and triple our efforts towards raising the community’s awareness of children’s oral health. This year our practice will be visiting over 50 schools, preschools and daycares during the month to help education children and parents alike on the importance of children’s oral health.

As a pediatric dental and orthodontic practice we advocate and practice early intervention and consistent monitoring of growth and development. We work to create a solid foundation for our patients to experience a lifetime of dental health…and most importantly to love coming to the dentist.

Below I’ve tried to answer the most frequent questions we receive from parents, but if you have a specific question please email me directly at

At what age should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that all children should see a pediatric dentist within six months of the eruption of the first tooth or no later than his/her first birthday.

What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist? 
Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs. 

Are baby teeth really that important to my child? 
Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt. Also, an infection in a baby tooth can lead to infection elsewhere in your body.

Toothpaste: when should we begin using it and how much should we use? 
Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush and water. As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Use a "smear" of toothpaste to brush the teeth of a child less than 2 years of age. For the 2-5 year old, dispense a "pea-size" amount of toothpaste and perform or assist your child’s tooth brushing. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively.  Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing. If they are too young to spit, you can wipe out their mouth if there is a lot of excess.  


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