1) When a child should first visit a paediatric dentist?

The ideal moment for a baby to first visit a paediatric dentist is when the first baby teeth come into the mouth. If it does not appear up to the baby’s first birthday, schedule an appointment anyhow. The following consultations will be scheduled depending on each baby’s need.

2) Why choosing a paediatric dentist, not the family’s general practioner?

A paediatric dentist is a professional with specialised scientific and technical knowledge for caring with babies, children and adolescents.

3) What is the purpose of this visit to the paediatric dentist so early?

Having a dental follow-up since the first birthday, the professional will be able to initiate the follow-up of teeth eruption and the growth and development of the dental arches, in a way to establish preventive actions to avoid dental erosion (marked wear of the teeth), dental caries (tooth disease), periodontal disease ( disease of the gums and other tissues that support the teeth), malocclusion (change in the fit of the teeth and / or arches) and oral trauma (hits in the mouth) .

4) Does breastfeeding is important to the oral health?

Yes, it is. Breastfeeding provides all the substances necessary for the development of infants, promotes growth, protects against most infections and strengthens the bond between mother and child. In addition, breastfeeding stimulates the correct oral and facial growth and development, contributing to the natural evolution of swallowing, breathing, chewing and speech.

5) Should I start mouth cleaning before the first baby teeth come?

The toddler which receives breastfeeding without having teeth in the mouth does not have the need of cleaning, since mother’s milk contains substances which protects the whole oral cavity.

6) When should the first baby teeth come to the mouth?

Usually, the appearance of baby teeth in the mouth begins between the sixth and eighth month of life, but some babies may advance or delay that tooth eruption in a physiological way. There are babies who are born with teeth in the mouth, others whose teeth appear in the first thirty days of life. In these cases, the clinical examination and dental X-ray are essential for the evaluation of the maintenance or removal of those teeth. The twenty baby teeth should be present in the mouth up to around 2 years.

7) When should I start cleaning my baby teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste?

It is essential to begin the routine of oral hygiene using a toothbrush and toothpaste since the first baby tooth comes.

8) How should I perform oral hygiene?

The cleaning of the teeth, gums and tongue should be performed following the guidelines of the paediatric dentist, always performing the movements of the brush in a delicate way, unhurried! Be careful to choose a special brush for each phase, with a size of the brush head proportional to the baby’s or child’s mouth, and with extra-soft or soft bristles.

9) Should I use a toothpaste with fluoride?

The presence of fluoride in the saliva is very important for the prevention of dental caries, therefore the recommendation of the Ministry of Health (Guide Recommendations for Using Fluoride in Brazil, 2009) is the use of small amount of fluoridated toothpaste with fluoride concentrations around 1100 ppm. As a security measure, the Brazilian Association of Pediatric Dentistry (Reference Manual, 2009), recommends the use of toothpaste:

* Baby and children who can not spit in the equivalent amount of an uncooked rice grain size (0.1g)
* Children and those who know to spit, the equivalent amount of a pea size (0.3 g). See the pictures below.
* If the child do the brushing for motivation before or after the parents brushing, do not put toothpaste again on the brush, so that there will not be a higher dose of the security amount recommended above.

* Toothpaste is not food, but a personal care product. Therefore, adults must take responsibility for the quantity to be loaded onto the brush and teach to spit since childhood.