Valleau, VanDeven & Massie Dentistry for Children
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Infant Oral Health

How can we help you?

We understand that you may have (a lot!) of questions about your child's oral health. Here is a list of our most frequently asked questions (FAQs). If your question is not on the list or is not fully answered here, please do not hesitate to contact our office to speak with one of our team members who will gladly and comprehensively answer any of your questions. 

Infant Oral Health

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 past the age of three, a child will be more likely to require future orthodontic treatment.

It is safe for your son or daughter to use fluoride toothpaste as soon as they can spit it out. This is different for each child but typically takes place around the age of three years old. Until that point, parents should use toothpaste that is safe to swallow. 

Your child will need your assistance with their brushing and flossing routine until they are around the age of seven or eight years old, when they can handle it independently.

Your children's dentist in Rockford may also recommend fluoride treatments for your child during their dental cleanings. This is a quick and painless procedure where your dental hygienist will "paint" fluoride onto your little one's teeth after their routine dental cleaning and leave it there for a period of about 30 minutes.

The fluoride works to strengthen developing teeth and also fortifies them against tooth decay and cavities. The procedure is efficient and doesn't typically add any additional time to your child's appointment. Most dental insurances usually cover this preventive procedure for children.

If you have questions about fluoride or other preventive dental services we offer, contact one of our pediatric dental offices in Rockford at (616) 884-5812 or Grand Rapids at (616) 455-1301.

Bruxism, defined as the habitual nonfunctional forceful contact between chewing tooth surfaces, can occur while awake or asleep. It is one of the most common questions asked of our doctors. In general, do not worry if your child or infant grinds his/her teeth. It is a relatively normal thing for children to do and evidence suggests that juvenile bruxism (grinding) is a selflimiting condition that does not progress to adult bruxism. 

However, if tooth grinding is also associated with restless sleep, open mouth breathing, snoring and/or bed wetting, it can be a sign of an airway issue (ie. sleep apnea). Please discuss with our doctors if you have any concerns regarding your child and his/her tooth grinding.

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