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Pediatric Dental FAQs

When should I schedule my child’s first visit to the dentist?

You should schedule your child’s first exam within six months of their first tooth erupting or by age one, whichever milestone comes first.

How is a pediatric dentist different from other dentists?

Pediatric dentists are specialized dentists who have earned an additional degree. They have the additional knowledge and experience required to provide the highest level of care to their young patients.

What happens during my child’s first visit to the dentist?

We try to keep the first visit short and sweet. Typically, we spend most of our time getting to know the child and providing you with recommendations for their oral care. The doctor will perform an exam to check the teeth for any early signs of dental problems and perform a simple cleaning if necessary.

How can I prepare my child for his first dental appointment?

The best thing to do is to remain calm while transmitting a sense of safety and security to your child. Children are incredibly in-tune with the emotions of their caregivers. To provide familiarity, show your child photographs of our office and staff. Talk to your child about the importance of this visit and how it will help them in the future. And overall, just trust us, we have specialized training and experience to put children at ease during treatment.

How often should my child visit the dentist?

The minimum recommended frequency is twice a year. However, your dentist may recommend more frequent visits depending on the needs of your child.

Baby teeth aren’t permanent. Why do they need special care?

While primary or baby teeth won’t remain in your child’s mouth permanently, these first set of teeth is important to their development. These teeth allow for the development of speech, the ability to chew, and smile. They also serve as space holders within the jaw to maintain the space for permanent teeth. If a child loses a tooth before it’s time, other teeth can invade the space leading to misaligned permanent teeth. It is also important to remember that your child’s overall health is affected by the health of their teeth and gums.

What’s the best way to clean my baby’s teeth?

Before the first tooth erupts, you can clean your child’s gums using a damp washcloth, this is recommended following feedings. Once the first tooth appears, you can introduce a toothbrush. We recommend choosing a toothbrush that features soft bristles and reduced head size.

At what age is it appropriate to use toothpaste to clean my child’s teeth?

When your children’s teeth begin to erupt, it is appropriate to begin the use of toothpaste on the brush. To ensure the safety of your child, use a very small amount of toothpaste and select a toothpaste without fluoride. An excess of fluoride can be dangerous if swallowed by small children. Teach your child to rinse their mouth and spit out toothpaste once their finished brushing. Once your child is over the age of 2, they can graduate to fluoride toothpaste.

What causes cavities?

Bacteria eat any sugar left behind on our teeth, this produces acids. The acids then wear down the enamel on the teeth and create holes in the teeth which are known as cavities.

How can I help my child avoid cavities?

Maintaining healthy oral care habits is the best way to avoid cavities. Ensure that your child brushes their teeth after every meal and flosses at least once a day. Avoid any foods and drinks that contain sugar, reduce snacking, and consume a healthy diet. Schedule regular checkups and cleaning appointments.

Does my child need dental sealants?

Sealants are a great tool to prevent cavities on the molars. Sealants serve as an additional layer of protection in the fight against decay.

My child plays sports. How can I protect his teeth?

If your child participates in any contact sports, it is essential to their safety to wear a mouthguard. We can help you select the right mouthguard depending on their needs.

What should I do if my child sucks his thumb?

Most children suck their thumbs as infants and most grow out of the habit naturally by age 4. When this does not happen, continued thumb sucking can cause damage to their permanent teeth. Let us know at your child’s next check and we will provide you with strategies to break the habit.

When should my child have dental X-rays taken?

The first set of X-rays is usually taken at the age of four and includes simple snapshots of the front upper and lower teeth. If your child is considered high risk for decay, we may recommend X-rays starting at an earlier age.

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