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Baby Teeth FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers about Baby Teeth

Listed below are the most frequently asked questions we are asked regarding baby teeth. Click on the question below, the page will scroll down to the answer and provide links to any additional resources or information related to the question. Feel free to email us your questions and we will update this list accordingly.
Kid with baby teeth
 
General Questions
How many baby teeth?
Baby first tooth?
Baby teeth chart
Teeth names
What is a central incisor?
What are incisor teeth?
What are 6 year molars?
Baby teeth order
When do baby teeth come in?
When do baby teeth fall out?
How many baby teeth do you lose?
Is the Tooth Fairy real?
How many permanent teeth?
I notice the bottom edge of permanent front teeth have bumps. What are they?
How to know if a tooth is a baby or permanent tooth
Differences between baby and adult teeth
I notice my child’s permanent tooth is growing in behind the baby tooth. Is this normal?
Crowded baby teeth, will my child need braces?
 

Teething
When do babies start teething?
Teething schedule
Signs of teething
Baby teething symptoms
Can teething cause diarrhea?
Teething and constipation
Can teething cause fever?
When do babies get teeth?
Cutting teeth
Babies born with teeth
How long teething last?
Baby teething tablets
Baby teething remedies
Teething toys for babies
 

Brushing baby teeth
When to start brushing baby’s teeth?
How many times should you brush your teeth?
Dental plaque: How to remove plaque
Infant toothbrush
Baby toothpaste
Toddler toothbrush
Toothbrush song
Toothbrush timer
How often should you change your toothbrush?
 

Floss and baby teeth
Is it necessary to floss my baby’s teeth?
At what age does my baby need to start flossing?
Floss teeth before or after brushing?
How many times should you floss your teeth?
How to floss teeth
Best dental floss
Dental floss
Dental floss picks
 

Baby grinding teeth
Grinding teeth in sleep
How to stop grinding teeth
 

Thumb sucking
Why do babies suck their thumb?
Is thumb sucking bad?
Thumb sucking teeth
 

Pacifiers
Pacifier use
When to give baby a pacifier?
When to take away pacifier?
How to clean a pacifier
Is it ok for babies to sleep with a pacifier in their mouth?
Soothie pacifiers
Teething pacifiers
Nuk pacifier
Gumdrop pacifier
Pacifier holder
Binkie
 

How to prevent cavities in baby teeth
What does fluoride do?
Does my child need fluoride if they brush their teeth daily?
What’s the difference between systemic and topical fluoride?
Is fluoride safe for my child to swallow?
Application of dental sealants
 
 

Pulling baby teeth
Tips for parents to help their child pull their baby tooth
Children’s books about pulling teeth
Lose a baby tooth prematurely
Space maintainer
 
 

First dental visit: What to expect
When should I take my baby to the dentist?
Baby first dental visit
Preventive dentistry
Dental exam
X-rays and baby teeth
Dental fluoride treatment
Dental cleaning
Going to the dentist: Most common fears
Children’s books about going to the dentist
Dental appointment amenities: watch tv, prizes, etc
 
 
Questions and Answers
Baby teeth chart

How many baby teeth?

At birth, people have 20 baby (primary) teeth. Ten top and ten bottom teeth.
 
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Baby first tooth?

Baby’s first tooth will start to grow in (erupt) at about 6 months of age.
 
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Baby teeth chart

Refer to the baby teeth chart pictured right for baby teeth eruption dates.
 
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Teeth names

Teeth names or types of baby teeth are incisors (8 total), cuspids (4 total), and molars (8 total).
 
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What is a central incisor?

The very front two top and bottom teeth are central incisors.
 
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What are incisor teeth?

Incisor teeth are responsible for shearing or cutting food while chewing. Kids and adults both have eight incisor teeth (4 top & 4 bottom). Incisor teeth are often referred to as the four front teeth.
 
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What are 6 year molars?

Six year molars are permanent molars that often erupt between six to seven years old.
 
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Baby teeth order

Baby teeth order varies person to person. Most often, bottom central incisors will erupt first followed by the top central incisors and later followed by molars and canines. See baby teeth chart pictured above.
 
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When do baby teeth come in?

Baby teeth typically begin to come in around six months of age. By age three, most kids have twenty baby or primary teeth visible in their mouth.
 
first baby tooth
 
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When do baby teeth fall out?

Baby teeth fall out starting around six years old, the same time when the first permanent incisor begins to grown in.
 
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How many baby teeth do you lose?

The average person will lose twenty baby teeth which will be replaced with permanent teeth. There are instances where some people will retain a baby tooth. In these cases, there is no permanent tooth present.
 
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Is the Tooth Fairy real?

The Tooth fairy is a fantasy figure that visits children who have lost a baby tooth. The tooth fairy visits while your child is fast asleep and often leaves a small payment or gift in exchange for the lost tooth.
 
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How many permanent teeth?

Permanent teeth replace baby teeth. In all, adults have 32 teeth. Eight incisors, four canines, eight premolars, and twelve molars.
 
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I notice the bottom edge of permanent front teeth have bumps. What are they?

The bumps are called mamelons and are present of the edges of newly erupted incisor teeth. Mamelons often disappear with use
and chewing.
Bumps on edges of adult front teeth
 
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How to know if a tooth is a baby or permanent tooth

Baby teeth are smaller in size than permanent teeth. Baby teeth are also smaller in size and are noticeably more “white” than permanent teeth.
 
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Differences between baby and adult teeth

There are several differences between baby and adult teeth. Primary differences are size, shape, and color. Additionally, permanent teeth have deeper grooves and have larger pulp or nerve chambers. An adult set of teeth have premolars and three sets of molars.
 
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I notice my child’s permanent tooth is growing in behind the baby tooth. Is this normal?

It is not unusual that the permanent tooth is growing in behind a loose baby tooth. Once the baby tooth is lost, the permanent tooth will move into place. This is no indication for whether your child will need braces later on.
 
Adult tooth growing in behind baby tooth

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Crowded baby teeth, will my child need braces?

It largely depends on your child’s growth and development in comparison to the growth and development of their teeth. Once your child has their six year molars and their top and bottom permanent incisor teeth, an orthodontist can then better evaluate and determine if your child could benefit from braces.
 
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Teething

When do babies start teething?

Teething usually begins around 6 months of age.
 
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Teething schedule

Teething schedule will vary among each person. Some baby’s will start teething as early as 3 months (6 months is typical) while others may not start teething till upwards of 12 months.
 
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Signs of teething

Common signs of teething may include drooling, irritability, trouble sleeping, swollen or bulging gums, and desire to chew, suck, or bite on everything.
 
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Baby teething symptoms

Baby teething symptoms often include excessive irritability, and in some cases, diarrhea.
 
Baby teething

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Can teething cause diarrhea?

Yes. Teething can cause diarrhea for some babies.
 
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Teething and constipation

If your baby is teeth or not feeling well, they may refuse food and drink which can cause dehydration and lead to constipation. Teething alone, does not cause constipation.
 
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Can teething cause fever?

For some babies, teething can cause a mild fever. However, if your baby’s temperature exceeds 101 degrees, pediatricians recommend that you schedule an appointment for further examination.
 
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When do babies get teeth?

On average, babies begin to get teeth around six months of age.
 
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Cutting teeth

Cutting teeth is a another way of saying that a baby or permanent tooth is beginning to grow in. Cutting teeth can begin as soon as three months of age.
 
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Babies born with teeth

According the the National Institute of Health, approximately 1 in every 2,000-3,000 births, a baby is born with teeth. These are often referred to as natal teeth.
 
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How long teething last?

According to a study by Oral Answers, parents reported that teething lasted between 1-3 days per tooth.
 
How long does baby teething last?
 
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Baby teething tablets

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that parents not use homeopathic teething tablets or gel which may pose a health risk to your baby. These products have not undergone safety examination and testing by the FDA.
 
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Baby teething remedies

A cold washcloth or chilled teething ring can help soothe your baby’s gums. If your baby is eating solid foods, you can also try hard foods–for gnawing on.
 
Over the counter pain relievers are also an option. It is advised to always check with your pediatrician prior to giving your baby or child any medication or pain reliever.
 
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Teething toys for babies

Teething toys for babies are readily available at your favorite store and online. Teething toys may be made of plastic, fabric, or a combination of both. Many plastic ones can be chilled to help soothe tender gums.
 
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Brushing baby teeth

When to start brushing baby’s teeth?

The best time to start brushing baby’s teeth is before their first tooth erupts. Using a washcloth, gently rub the washcloth over the gum tissue. Doing so will clean your baby’s gums as well as to help get them used to you cleaning their mouth once their teeth begin to grow in.
 
Baby toothbrushes
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How many times should you brush your teeth?

It is best to brush your baby’s teeth at least twice a day–preferably after each meal.
 
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Dental plaque: How to remove plaque

Dental plaque is loosely attached to the teeth and can be easily removed from your baby’s gum and teeth with a warm washcloth or by gently brushing gums and teeth with an infant toothbrush.
 
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Infant toothbrush

Infant toothbrushes come in different styles from a miniature size toothbrush to finger brushes that slide over the tip of an adult’s finger. A warm and fuzzy washcloth can also be used to gently clean and massage your baby’s gums. Once the first tooth is visible, we recommend switching to an infant toothbrush.
 
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Baby toothpaste

Baby toothpaste contains enzymes that help clean the teeth. Refrain from using a toothpaste containing fluoride until your child learns to spit excess toothpaste during brushing.
Baby toothpaste without fluoride
 
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Toddler toothbrush

There are several toddler toothbrush options available for your toddler. We recommend parents to select a few options appropriate for your toddler’s size mouth and level of dexterity. Then offer your toddler his/her choice of toothbrush (either favorite color or fictional character).
 
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Toothbrush song

The American Dental Association recommends tooth brushing for two minutes, twice a day. Playing your kid’s favorite songs is a great way to keep your child engaged and brushing for two minutes. There are several tooth brushing apps available too. Two-minute tooth brushing timers are also widely available at your favorite retail store or online.
 
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Toothbrush timer

Two-minute toothbrush timers are widely available for purchase. Most popular are sand timers. Another great alternative is to have your child brush to their favorite song that is or longer in length. There are also a number of smartphone apps available as well. Using a timer helps your child to learn how long to brush their teeth for.
 
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How often should you change your toothbrush?

Toothbrushes should be changed every three months. It your child’s toothbrush bristles appear to have lost their shape and become frayed and/or after being sick are additional times when it is recommended to change their toothbrush. The same recommendation holds true for adults too.
 
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Floss and baby teeth

Is it necessary to floss my baby’s teeth?

Yes, it is necessary to floss your baby’s teeth once the toothbrush can not clean all sides of a tooth–sides of teeth touch each other.
 
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At what age does my baby need to start flossing?

It is important to begin flossing as soon as the baby teeth erupt and begin to touch each other. There are several floss options available, traditional string floss or floss picks. The American Dental Association recommends parents to assist with flossing till
your child can tie their shoes themselves. It is then they have the dexterity and the ability to learn to floss their teeth themselves.
 
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Floss teeth before or after brushing?

Studies have not concluded that flossing is better before or after toothbrushing—just recommend that you are floss at a minimum daily, preferably after meals.
 
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How many times should you floss your teeth?

Flossing should be done at a minimum once day-preferably after each meal.
 
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How to floss teeth

Even though the technique to floss teeth using string floss is different than using floss picks, the most important thing to keep in mind is to wrap the floss tightly around the tooth and to slide the floss up and down being careful to not cut the gums.

 
How to floss teeth

How to floss teeth using string floss.
 
Using an 8-12 inch length of floss, gently slide the floss between the contact of two adjacent teeth. Next, pull the floss tight against the side of the tooth making the shape of the letter C. Lastly, move the floss up and down alongside the tooth being careful not to cut the gums.
 
 
How to floss teeth using a floss pick.
 
Gently slide a floss pick between the contact of two adjacent teeth. Next squeeze and adapt the floss pick so that the floss is snug against the side. Then move the floss up and down alongside the tooth while being careful to not cut the gums below. Avoid snapping the floss pick between two teeth whose space is tight. In these areas, we recommend instead to use a see-saw motion to access the flossing space.
 
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Best dental floss

The best dental floss is the floss string or pick that you use at a minimum of once daily. People whose teeth are tight together may find a unwaxed of an easy slide floss easier to use. For people with teeth that trap food, there are a variety of woven types of floss
that help food debris to be more easily removed.
 
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Dental floss

Dental floss is readily available for purchase at your favorite retail store. There is no single best floss–just the one you’ll use at least once daily. Dental floss comes in different weaves, thickness, flavors (even bacon!), and either waxed, unwaxed, or easy slide which is usually made of a teflon-like material.
 
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Dental floss picks

Dental floss picks are a great on-the-go option. They fit easily into your purse or wallet. Floss picks are also a great option for
parents to use to floss their kids teeth until your child can tie their own shoelaces. Additionally, floss picks are a great way to introduce your child to flossing.
 
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Baby grinding teeth

Grinding teeth in sleep

Parents often hear their baby grinding teeth while sleeping. Most often, the grinding teeth sounds worse than it is.
Nighttime teeth grinding in kids
Most times babies grind their teeth during teeth development, as they are growing in. Once baby teeth have grown in, most kids will no longer grind their teeth.
 
If you suspect that your child’s teeth grinding is problematic, don’t hesitate to call for an examination to be sure.
 
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How to stop grinding teeth

Because kids grind their teeth while sleeping, there is little that you as a parent can do to prevent them from grinding.
 
Teeth grinding is common during teeth development and will stop once teeth have grown in. Typically there is nothing you can do to stop a baby from grinding their teeth.
 
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Thumb sucking

Why do babies suck their thumb?

Thumb sucking is an innate response that often develops while still in the the mother’s womb. Babies need to have the ability to
suck in order to be fed from their mother or from a bottle.
Baby sucking his thumb

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Is thumb sucking bad?

Thumb sucking is not necessarily bad for infants. Research shows that thumbsucking is a relaxing activity and likely provides a sense of security for babies and toddlers. For most babies and toddlers, thumbsucking is short-lived.
 
Toddlers and kids who continue to suck their thumb after permanent teeth begin to grow in are at an increased risk for needing dental braces. Prolonged thumb sucking can alter the development, position, and alignment of teeth and facial bones.
 
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Thumb sucking teeth

Most toddlers and young children stop sucking their thumb by the time their front permanent teeth begin to grow in. If thumb sucking does not stop, this habit may interfere with growth, development, and alignment of their teeth. It can also cause changes in the roof of their mouth.
 
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Pacifiers

Pacifier use

Often times, babies and toddlers use a pacifier to help reduce feelings of anxiety, stress–help them feel secure and/or to relax. Oral habits like the pacifier or thumb sucking are generally not problematic up until about age four to six, when the permanent teeth begin to develop and grow in.
 
Once the permanent teeth begin to grow in, it is best to help wean your child away from using a pacifier as well as sucking their thumb.
 
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When to give baby a pacifier?

Parents often give a baby a pacifier to help soothe a fussy baby. Some parents have found that giving their baby or child a pacifier before a stressful event (like getting a shot) can be helpful as well as help your baby to relax and fall asleep.
Baby teething with pacifier 
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When to take away pacifier?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that your child quit using a pacifier by the time their permanent teeth begin growing in, generally between four and six years old.
 
Prolonged use of a pacifier can interfere with your child’s facial and permanent teeth growth and development.
 
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How to clean a pacifier

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the following guidelines for how to clean a pacifier. AAP recommends parents to frequently boil pacifiers or run them through the dishwasher until your baby reaches six months old. After six months, simply wash pacifiers with soap and water.
 
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Is it ok for babies to sleep with pacifier in their mouth?

It is ok for babies to sleep with a pacifier in their mouth. Some studies have concluded that pacifier use can have a protective effect against SIDS (sudden death infant syndrome)–up until an infant is six months old.
 
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Soothie pacifiers

Soothie pacifiers as their name implies helps to soothe fussy or restless babies. Soothie pacifiers is also a brand name, popular, premium pacifier designed for newborns and babies 0-3 months old, without teeth.
 
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Teething pacifiers

Teething pacifiers are pacifiers designed to withstand being chilled in the freezer. Many parents feel that a chilled pacifier helps alleviate symptoms often associated with teething.
 
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Nuk pacifier

Nuk pacifier is a brand name of one of many type of pacifiers available for your baby. Nuk brand pacifiers are available at your favorite retailers.
 
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Gumdrop pacifier

Gumdrop pacifier is a brand name of one of many types of pacifiers available in the marketplace. Gumdrop pacifiers are available in different sizes and colors.
 
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Pacifier holder

Pacifier holders are a great option for parents to consider. They help hold the pacifier in place, help prevent it from dropping, and from being lost. They also are colorful and cuddly.
 
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Binkie

Binkie is another name for a pacifier. Many parents often refer to pacifiers by their brand name such as Nuk, Gumdrop, or Soothie.
 
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How to prevent cavities in baby teeth

What does fluoride do?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that research has found to reduce the risk of dental caries up to 99%. Fluoride helps to strengthen the integrity of the outermost surface of teeth called enamel. There are two types of fluoride applications: systemic (by swallowing) and topical (manual application).
Listerine Smart Rinse
 
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Does my child need fluoride if they brush and floss their teeth daily?

Yes. Children who have primary teeth will benefit from fluoride, both systemic and topically applied fluoride up until till they lose their last baby teeth.
 
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What’s the difference between systemic and topical fluoride?

Systemic fluoride (in municipal tap water supply) helps unerupted teeth to grow in strong.
 
Topical fluoride is when fluoride is manually applied to teeth such as during tooth brushing and following professional teeth polishing procedure at your dentist.
 
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Is fluoride safe for my child to swallow?

Fluoride in water that comes from your municipal water supply is safe when swallowed. Federal regulations require cities to monitor how much fluoride is in the water supply at any given time.
 
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits over the counter products containing fluoride to not exceed one part per million of fluoride. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend parents to avoid using a
topical fluoride product until your child can safely spit excess toothpaste or fluoride rinse. Ingestion of too much fluoride can lead to undesirable side effects if swallowed.
 
We recommend that parents dispense a small, pea-sized amount of toothpaste onto their child’s toothbrush and to supervise their children while brushing or rinsing to avoid the accidental swallowing of too much fluoride.
 
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Application of dental sealants

Dental sealants help prevent tooth decay. Permanent molars have deep pits and grooves on the chewing surface. These grooves are deep and are difficult to clean with a toothbrush. Sealants applied to decay prone molars can easily be kept clean with daily toothbrushing and flossing. The application of sealants does not require anesthesia and are often a covered, preventive dental insurance benefit.
 
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Pulling baby teeth

Tips for parents to help their child pull their baby tooth

Parents should not be worried if their child pulls a baby tooth. Rest assured, your child can only pull to tooth that is loose and ready to come out anyway.
 
Boy pulled his baby tooth
When the tooth is loose enough, it can be easily removed by using a piece of gauze or a thin washcloth to grab hold of the loose tooth. Gently twist the tooth from side to side, then back and forth. This should loosen the tooth even more making it easy to give a gentle pull and remove the tooth. It is completely normal that your child’s gums will bleed for a few minutes. You can have them bite down on a few pieces of gauze or a cold washcloth till the bleeding stops.
 
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Children’s books about pulling teeth

If you and/or your child are nervous about pulling a tooth, there are a wide variety of age specific books available at your library or favorite bookstore. Click here to see a list of our top recommendations for books by age about going to the dentist.
 
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Lose a baby tooth prematurely

Accidents happen and could cause your child to lose a baby tooth prematurely. Losing a tooth prematurely is generally not a problem for the lost baby tooth, rather the concern is if the permanent replacement tooth was injured.
 
If your child falls or hits their mouth or head, it is a good idea to call for an examination. The dentist will examine your child’s mouth and teeth and discuss any concerns. They may also recommend to take an xray to check the development of the permanent replacement tooth.
 
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Space maintainer

A space maintainer saves room for a permanent tooth that has not yet erupted. Often times a space maintainer is placed if your child loses a baby tooth prematurely. Once the permanent tooth begins to erupt, the space maintainer is then removed.
 
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First dental visit: What to expect?

When should I take my baby to the dentist?

The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry say that the first dental visit should occur within six months after the baby’s first tooth appears, but no later than the child’s first birthday.
 
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First dental visit

The first dental visit is usually short and includes a visual inspection of your baby’s mouth. Your dentist will look for any potential problems with their teeth, gums, jaw, and tissues.
Kid's first dental visit to dentist
 
This visit is a great time to ask the dentist any questions you may have related to your child’s teeth growth and development including oral habits like using pacifiers, thumb sucking, bottle caries, and how to care for your baby’s teeth.
 
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Preventive dentistry

Preventive dentistry includes education, services, and tools to help prevent the development of dental disease. Preventive dentistry procedures for kids include: professional teeth cleaning, application of fluoride and dental sealants, annual x-rays and biannual teeth and orthodontic examination.
 
Between dental visits, we encourage parents to encourage their kids to brush teeth two times daily for two minute and floss daily. Help your child to maintain a healthy diet low in sugar (and pop) and stress the importance of your child wearing a protective mouth guard while playing contact sports.
 
The dental aisle of your favorite store is filled with all the necessary dental tools (products) to help your child maintain their smile between visits to the dentist. Products include toothbrush, floss, anti-cavity rinse, and a tooth brushing timer.
 
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Dental exam

A dental exam performed by your kid’s dentist every six months will include an examination for tooth decay (cavities), evaluate the growth, development, and alignment of your child’s teeth and bite, perform an oral cancer screening and discuss any preventive recommendations such as the application of dental sealants or tips regarding home care.
 
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X-rays and baby teeth

X-rays enable your dentist to check for tooth decay between teeth. These spaces are not visible when looking into the mouth directly. X-rays also provide the dentist information regarding the growth, development, and eruption of baby and permanent teeth as well as detect any abnormal lesions.
 
Dentistry for the Entire Family utilizes digital x-ray technology which minimizes exposure to radiation. X-rays are necessary to enable the dentist and his/her team to provide the highest standard of dental care for your child.
 
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Dental fluoride treatment

Dental fluoride treatment is performed at each preventive teeth cleaning visit. Dental fluoride helps strengthen the outermost layer of teeth called enamel. Studies have shown that fluoride can help reduce tooth decay (#1 dental disease in children according to the National Institute of Health) in children over 90%.
 
There are several different types of dental fluoride treatments available: rinse, gel, foam, and a varnish. Fluoride varnish has been shown to be the most effective and provides up to four months of slow-release protection.
 
Topical fluoride varnish is a thick-liquid that is applied with a brush to the surfaces of professionally polished teeth. Afterwards, your child can eat or drink following the application of fluoride–just avoid any hot liquids like soup for four hours.
 
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Dental cleaning

Dental cleanings every six months provide a great opportunity to professionally clean and remove any unsightly stain, tooth plaque (and tartar if present) from the surfaces of your child’s teeth.
 
Your child’s dental cleaning visit will also include personalized tips for how your child can effectively maintain their smile between dental visits. Additionally, your child will be examined by a dentist to check to tooth decay and evaluate the growth and development of their teeth.
 
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Going to the dentist: Most common fears

Going to the dentist can be a bit scary and cause your child to be anxious. From your child’s perspective, they see strangers in “medical” scrubs, with colored gloves, and glasses with magnification. They hear high pitched sounds and are unable to describe the sterile smell of the office.
Children's dental books
 
Dentistry for the Entire Family loves kids. We embrace show-tell-do for each person. We take the time necessary to help ensure your child is at ease for each procedure. We also have tv’s on the ceiling with headphones so they can watch their favorite show during their appointment.
 
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Children’s books about going to the dentist

There are a variety of age specific books at the library or for purchase about going to the dentist. We encourage first time parents to read a couple books with their child before their first appointment. Click on the link to a compiled list of our top book recommendations. There are also a variety of kids videos available too!
 
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Dental appointment amenities: watch tv, prizes, etc

Kids favorite dental appointments amenities include watching cable tv with noise-canceling headphones, the option to enter into prize drawings, and to pick from an assortment of prizes following their appointment.
 
Dentistry for the Entire Family loves kids and is accepting new patients.
Call (763)586-9988 or click to request an appointment. We look forward to working with you!
 
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Contact

Dentistry For the Entire Family

1099 East Moore Lake Drive

Fridley, MN 55432

Phone (763) 586-9988

Fax (763) 586-9977

Email Us

Hours of Operation

Monday 7:30am - 5:00pm

Tuesday 7:30am - 5:00pm

Wednesday 7:30am - 8:00pm

Thursday 7:30am - 5:00pm

Friday 7:30am - 4:30pm

Saturday Closed

Sunday Closed