Proudly Serving Children & Teens in Coeur d’Alene & Sandpoint, ID

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When you bring your child to Pediatric Dental Center of North Idaho, we not only make sure your child receives excellent dental care while at the office, but we will also ensure he or she has skills needed to develop proper hygiene habits at home. We will also provide parents with the information they need to help their child make great oral health decisions. Our kid-friendly, compassionate team at our Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint, ID offices are knowledgeable and ready to answer all of your questions!

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Smiling young adult girl with braces

Why are baby teeth important?

Healthy baby teeth allow children to chew and speak properly. They are also placeholders in the jaw for developing permanent teeth. If a primary tooth falls out prematurely, neighboring teeth may move into the empty space, meaning there won’t be enough room for the permanent tooth to grow in. This may cause crooked or overcrowded permanent teeth.

When should I take my child to see the dentist?

A child should see the dentist by their first birthday, to prevent any problems such as decay. We will teach you how to clean your child’s mouth as well as identify fluoride needs and provide nutritional guidance. This can help your child on a path to lifelong dental health!

When will my baby start getting teeth?

Usually, the two lower front teeth erupt around six months of age, shortly followed by the two upper central incisors. The rest of the baby teeth appear during the next 18 to 24 months, and all should be present between two and three years of age, on average. But some children’s teeth grow earlier and some later.

Do I need to clean my baby’s mouth if there are no teeth yet?

Yes! You should begin cleaning your baby’s mouth a few days after they are born. Wipe your baby’s gums with a damp washcloth or gauze pad after each feeding to remove plaque and help your child learn the feel of clean teeth and gums.

Can babies get cavities?

Decay can occur as soon as your child develops teeth. One of the biggest risks of cavities comes from the usage of baby bottles during sleep or from continuous breast feeding. Milk, formula and other sugary drinks can pool in your child’s mouth, causing the teeth to be exposed to acids that cause decay. If your child needs a bottle to sleep at night, fill it with water.

When should my children be able to brush their own teeth effectively?

Parents should brush their children’s teeth until they are six to nine years of age. Until this age, children don’t have the dexterity skills required to brush their teeth the proper way, and therefore can’t prevent tooth decay.

Are sealants necessary?

Yes! Your child’s permanent back teeth are ridged on top, meaning it is difficult to clean them thoroughly. Therefore, these teeth are susceptible to plaque, leading to decay. Sealants are caps made of an acrylic-like material which blocks food and bacteria from getting into the grooves.

What should I do if my child’s permanent tooth is knocked out?

Find the tooth and rinse it gently in cool water (do not scrub or use soap). If possible, replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with a clean gauze or washcloth. If you can’t put the tooth back in the socket, place it in a clean container with milk, saliva, and water. Then call your dentist office immediately! Call the emergency number if it is after normal hours. The sooner you see the dentist, the better the chances of saving the tooth.

Is water fluoridation safe?

Yes! Numerous studies have been conducted to make sure water fluoridation is safe and doesn’t make people more susceptible to disease or health issues. It has been determined that the most efficient and effective level of fluoride in water is 1mg/L to prevent tooth decay while not posing health risks.

For how long should my child take fluoride tablets?

Children who live in a community with non-fluoridated water should take a fluoride supplement (drops) beginning at six months of age. They should continue to take these supplements until age 12. If your child does drink fluoridated water, they shouldn’t need fluoride supplements.