Patient Education

Patient education

Care for your little one's mouth

Looking to boost your dental IQ and keep your child’s mouth healthy? On this page from Maple Grove Pediatric Dentistry, we’ll answer a few FAQs that most parents ask about caring for their little one’s teeth and gums. Get the answers you need below. And if you need more help or a checkup in Maple Grove for your child, contact us online or give us a call at (763) 390-8575. Dr. Matt is always accepting new patients, and would love to meet you and your family!

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teaching your child about oral hygiene and more

Please call us at (763) 390-8575 to speak with our team. We are happy to help!

at what age should my child see the dentist?

Children should see the dentist by age 1, or within 6 months of eruption of their first tooth.

Kids who see the dentist by age 1 can have better experiences at the dentist, easier appointments, and be set up for a lifetime of oral health!

A great video to watch before your first appointment is the Daniel Tiger video on our website. Scroll down past our reviews and click the link to the video. This video is best for kids under 5, and YouTube has plenty more videos for older kids that can help them too.

Illustrated books are also a great way to learn the basics, and we have them available in our family room at Maple Grove Pediatric Dentistry that explain to kids the importance of teeth.

But the very best way to teach them about dentistry is to bring them in to see Dr. Matt and our team at Maple Grove Pediatric Dentistry! Dr. Matt and the rest of the team specialize in pediatric dental care.

We can explain the basics and teach them about dental care in a fun, comfortable environment.

How do I care for my infants teeth?

Before they have teeth, you should wipe their gums clean with a cloth after feeding. Once their teeth start to erupt, you can start brushing them. We recommend brushing after each feeding. 

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and a smear of fluoride toothpaste. Brush the surface of each erupted tooth. Most kids get their first tooth by the age of 1, and have all of their baby teeth by 3.

The professional recommendation is for kids to see the dentist by the age of 1.

How do I teach my child to brush their teeth?

First, make sure they're ready to do it on their own. Most kids can brush their teeth at the age of 5-6, or whenever they're coordinated enough to tie their own shoes. Younger kids may not be able to brush their teeth effectively.

If your child is ready to brush on their own, Dr. Matt can go over the basics at your child’s appointment, and demonstrate the best ways for your child to brush their teeth. They should brush twice a day for two minutes, spending about 30 seconds on each quadrant of their teeth.

Your child should use a soft-bristled toothbrush, and hold it at a 45-degree angle to their teeth. This helps clean the gums. They should thoroughly brush the front, top, and back of each tooth using short, tooth-sized strokes.

How do I teach my child to floss?

Even though it's very challenging, flossing your child's teeth is so important. Over half of cavities in baby teeth show up in between the teeth, and flossing is a great way to prevent these cavities from starting.

Kids can start flossing on their own when they're about 8. Until that point, they may not have the hand skills to do it on their own and will need assistance.

Flossing is tougher to learn than brushing, so watching some instructional YouTube videos with your child can help them pick up the proper technique. This video is a good place to start.

If your child needs more help, Dr. Matt can provide a demonstration and show them the proper technique at Maple Grove Pediatric Dentistry. We always love teaching your little ones how to care for their teeth and gums!

What type of toothbrush should kids use?

We recommend any brush with soft or medium bristles. Firm bristles are not recommended, since they can cause gum or enamel damage if your child brushes too hard. 

We also recommend a diamond-shaped or oval head for manual toothbrushes, or a round head for electric toothbrushes. These shapes make it easier for kids to clean tight spaces in their teeth.

Beyond that, it’s up to you and your child! We recommend taking them with you to the store, and letting them choose their own brush. There are lots of toothbrushes with fun characters from Marvel, Disney, and more. Letting them choose their own toothbrush will help make brushing more fun for your little one.

what type of toothpaste should kids use?

We recommend that your child uses fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is essential for strengthening teeth and preventing cavities. When looking for toothpaste, you should look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance. This means that the toothpaste has been approved as safe and effective by the American Dental Association.

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