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Learning Center

Children’s Dentistry – Questions and Answers

Dr. Lu of Alexandria Dental Care is pleased to answer the many dental related questions of her patients from Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland. This section provides questions and answers for many frequently asked questions regarding dentistry and promoting dental health for children.


When should I begin cleaning my child's teeth?
Once your child's teeth begin erupting, you can begin cleaning them by wiping them with a moist washcloth. As your child gets more teeth, you can begin to use a soft child's toothbrush. You should use just a pea-size amount of a fluoride toothpaste or a non-fluoride toothpaste (like Baby OraGel) until your child is able to spit it out (too much fluoride can stain their teeth).

Are thumbsucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child's teeth?
Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers when the permanent teeth arrive, a mouth appliance may be recommended by Dr. Lu.

Does my child need fluoride supplements?
In general, yes. All children need supplemental fluoride after they are six months old to help prevent cavities. For most children, they can get this fluoride from the water they drink, if they are in an area where the city water supply has an adequate amount of fluoride in it (greater than 0.6 ppm), and they are drinking tap water.

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.

What can I do to protect my child's teeth during sporting events?
Soft plastic mouthguards can be used to protect a child's teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sport related injuries. A custom-fitted mouthguard developed by a Dr. Lu will protect your child from injuries to the teeth, face and even provide protection from severe injuries to the head.

When should my child first see the dentist?
Ideally a child's first visit should be as early as 1 year-old and not later than two-and-a-half years.

 

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We look forward to having the opportunity to serve your dental needs. For appointment requests or additional enquiries please call 703.955.3960 or send us an email.