5 Questions You Should Ask Your Pediatric Dentist

 It is important to start thinking about your child’s oral health at a young age to keep their teeth clean and healthy. A pediatric dentist will be a great source for answering any questions you may have before and after you have had your first visit. Here are 5 questions parents often ask that will be helpful in taking care of your child’s teeth.

1. At what age should I bring my child to a pediatric dentist for a first visit?


Parents should bring their child for a first visit when a first tooth appears or when they reach 1 year. Some pediatric dentists suggest 3 years old which is perfectly acceptable as long as you practice good dental care at home. If there is anything that either you or your Pediatrician are concerned about, schedule a dental visit right away.

2. What is the proper way to clean my baby’s teeth?


You can use a wet washcloth, dental wipes or a soft-bristled childs’ toothbrush with a small head to clean your baby’s teeth. This should be done once a day preferably before bedtime to remove any plaque that accumulates and prevent tooth decay.

Tip: I recommend trying tooth tissues which are dental wipes that can be used for babies and toddlers. Tooth tissues were invented by two dentists for their kids and are formulated with xylitol, are 99% natural, as well as fluoride and paraben-free. I use a combination of all the above methods with my own 9 month old son.

3.  At what age can I start brushing my child’s teeth with toothpaste?


You can start introducing toothpaste into your childs’ oral hygiene when a first tooth appears. Most pediatric dentists would recommend using a non-fluoride toothpaste until your child has mastered spitting out the toothpaste in the sink, often around 3 ½ to 4. As they work on this, you can slowly start introducing fluoride toothpaste into your dental care routine. If you live in New York City, your child will already receive proper levels of fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay, by drinking even a small amount of tap water daily. If you live elsewhere, check to see if your tap water is fluoridated. If not you may consider fluoride supplements.

4.  What should I expect on a first visit?


Very often, we allow small children to sit with a parent in the dental chair for the first visit- this often makes the first appointment a lot less stressful for the child. Typically a pediatric dentist will perform a head and neck exam and evaluate the general health of your child’s teeth and gums. The dentist will discuss your child’s diet, home dental care routine, and any health issues or family dental/health issues that may be pertinent. Your child’s teeth will be cleaned and a fluoride treatment will be discussed.

5.  How often should I bring my child in for a checkup?


We generally recommend that patients return every 6 months for routine checkups.

To find a pediatric dentist in your area, you can visit the American Dental Association.

If you are in the NYC area and would like to find out more information, feel free to check out my website at www.rubygelman.com or contact me at info@rubygelman.com or call 212-682-9555 for an appointment. Our practice is located at 155 East 38th Street, Suite 2D in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan.

7 Responses


Love your blog!
great initiative!!!!! good info and pple will love it!

Dr. Gelman,

Excellent! What a wonderful resource for families! Today there is so much information on the web that can be confusing or outright misleading. I will keep you in mind when questions that are pediatric dental in nature come up.

Will Winter, M.D.

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Thanks for the great feedback!

Thanks for posting! I really enjoyed the report. I’ve already bookmark

this article.

Thanks! These were great tips for choosing a pediatric dentist. We’re looking for one right now, but didn’t know those cleaning secrets. Helpful stuff!

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Dr. Gelman lives in midtown Manhattan with her husband Shimon Shkury and her son Ariel Moshe who was born in July 2009. Dr. Gelman is dedicated to providing pediatric dental care in a warm, nurturing environment. She looks forward to welcoming you to her practice!