Q. What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and family dentist?
A. Pediatric Dentists have several years of additional training specifically focused on the treatment needs of children. Dr. Galm is board certified and served as chief resident at The Children’s Hospital Pediatric Dental Program in Aurora during her training.
Q. When should my kid visit the dentist for the first time because I’m worried they won’t sit still/might cry?
A. Visit the dentist when the child has a few teeth. We love seeing kids for the first time at age 1 or 2. We know that kids this age are wiggly and that is okay! The dentist can check quickly for any problems, and review how best to care for teeth to avoid cavities.
Q. How do I brush my little ones’ teeth? They won’t let me brush them.
A. Let’s face it, brushing a baby or toddler’s teeth can be a challenge! Just do it! Know that even if your child is fussing/crying, you are helping keep their teeth healthy. Soon they will learn that brushing is part of their routine. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Also try to make it fun! Take turns. Let them have a turn brushing, then have a parent follow up (never let them only brush on their own). Fun toothbrushes or toothpaste can help! Use a very small smear of fluoride paste two times a day to protect from cavities.
Q. When will my baby get his/her teeth?
Q. When will my kid loose teeth?
A. Kids typically lose their first tooth around age 6-7 years. Some kids are very early, some kids are very late!
Q. A double row of teeth are forming… now what?
A. This is a VERY common occurrence with children. It is usually the result of a lower baby tooth not falling out when the permanent tooth is coming in. Parents should encourage their child to try to wiggle out the baby tooth. In most cases, it will usually fall out on its own within a couple months. If it doesn’t, then contact our office to get an xray to see if removal of the baby tooth is indicated. Don’t worry if the tooth appears very far back. The tongue usually helps push/slide the adult tooth into its proper place once that baby tooth is finally lost! We see it all the time!
Q. What toothpaste should my kids use?
A. Kids should use a fluoride toothpaste (even for babies/toddler). Kids under 3 should get a thin smear amount, and kids 3+, a pea size. Any flavor is fine, whatever your kid likes best. It is even okay to let children use adult toothpastes. Do not use training toothpastes without fluoride.
Q. At what age can my child brush and floss on their own?
A. Kids should have adult supervision brushing until they are able to do a good job on their own (usually around 7 or 8 years old). Brushing for 2 minutes twice a day is recommended. Flossing nightly is also recommended for children who have teeth that are close together. Children usually develop the ability (dexterity) to floss on their own around the age of 10.
Q. Do you recommend electric toothbrushes?
A. Electric toothbrushes may make your child feel more like brushing, but are not necessary. Some electric toothbrushes do have the advantage of having a built-in timer. Dr. Galm suggests whatever toothbrush makes brushing the most fun!
Q. Why did my child get cavities?
Q. What can I do to stop getting cavities?
A. The BEST thing a parent can do to protect their child from getting cavities is to brush TWO times a day with a fluoride toothpaste (Don’t skip!!!). A fluoride mouthwash (such as ACT) is also a great rinse for kids to do before bedtime to help prevent decay.
Q. Why do kids get braces so young?
A. Sometimes kids need an early phase of braces around age 7-9 years to help with a severe overbite or underbite, crowding, and other abnormalities (such as crossbites, or missing adult teeth). Other kids can wait until middle school before getting braces. The dentist can advise when your child may need to seek a consultation.