Pediatric Dental Topics

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General questions


It’s easy to simply dollop a large amount of toothpaste on your child’s toothbrush and think “more must be better” but you may be surprised at the truth. A new study by the Centers for Disease Control shows that children are using too much toothpaste when they brush their teeth.

The American Dental Association recommends following these guidelines:

Kids ages 2-3: rice grain-sized smear

Kids age 3 and older: pea-sized amount

Sealants work by filling in the areas on the surfaces of your child’s teeth. This stops food particles that can become caught in between teeth, causing cavities. Adding sealants is easy, comfortable and can protect your child’s teeth for many years.

Research has shown that dental sealants are safe, and they are effective. The American Dental Association recommends that dental sealants are an important step you should take to lower your risk of tooth decay and cavities. If you have any questions, talk to Dr. Johnson.

By the time a baby is born, there are already 20 teeth underneath the gum line just waiting to burst through and cause of sorts of havoc! Below you’ll find what you can expect as a normal timeline for your babies incoming teeth.


  • At 6 to 10 months old, the lower central incisors (bottom front teeth) are expected.
  • At 8 to 12 months old, the upper incisors are the next to appear.
  • At 9 to 13 months old, the upper lateral incisors on each side of the front teeth arrive.
  • At 10 to 16 months old, the lower lateral incisors appear.


  • 12 to 19 months old, for the upper molars.


  • 14 to 20 months old, for the lower first molars.
  • 20 to 30 months old, the second pair of bottom molars start coming out.
  • 25 to 33 months old, the upper second molars arrive.


  • Appearing at 15 to 21 months old
  • Appearing at 16 to 22 months old

Thumb sucking is a common habit among children. Many children stop sucking their thumbs on their own, often within the ages of 6-7 months or between ages 2-4 years old. But even a child who’s stopped sucking his or her thumb might go back to the behavior during times of stress.

A few suggestions to help your child get through thumb sucking:

  • Positive reinforcement. Praise your child or provide small rewards like an extra bedtime story or a visit to one their favorite playparks when they consistently stop sucking their thumbs. Set attainable goals, such as no thumb sucking an hour before bed or after lunch. Keep a record of the small victories – such as stickers on a calendar or fridge
  • Identify triggers. If your child sucks his or her thumb in response to something specific, identify the real issue and provide other ways to cope – such as with a hug or reassuring words.
  • Offer gentle reminders. If your child sucks his or her thumb without thought — rather than as a way to get attention — gently remind him or her to stop. Keep in mind not to scold, criticize or ridicule your child but instead provide loving assurance.

Our pediatric dentists provide gentle, minimally invasive, age-appropriate dental care for kids of all
ages. Whether you have an infant or child in high school, we’re by your side to help them succeed in
having healthy teeth for life. Feeling confident about your smile is something that affects everything
from self-esteem and your social life to your health and personality. We’ll do whatever it takes to help
your child love the smile they have.

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