Below are common questions and our answers about the best way to care for children’s teeth.
When should I schedule my child’s first visit to the dentist?
We recommend that you make an appointment to see the dentist as soon as your child gets their first tooth.
How is a pediatric dentist different from other dentists?
All dental specialists (pediatric dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, and others) begin by completing dental school, then continue their education with several years of additional specialized training. During training in the field of pediatric dentistry, your doctor gained extensive knowledge and experience in treating infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatric dentists enjoy working with children, and bring to each patient our expertise in childhood development and behavior. Because our office is geared toward young visitors, you'll find that our staff, as well as our office design, decorations, and activities all work together to provide an especially friendly and comfortable environment for children.
What happens during my child’s first visit to the dentist?
The first visit is usually short and simple. In most cases, we focus on getting to know your child and giving you some basic information about dental care. The doctor will check your child’s teeth for placement and health, and will look for any potential problems with the gums and jaw. If necessary, we may polish your young child's teeth to get them smiling. We will also answer any questions you have about how to care for your child’s teeth as they develop, and provide you with materials containing helpful tips that you can refer to at home.
How can I prepare my child for their first dental appointment?
The best preparation for your child’s first visit to our office is maintaining a positive attitude. We use a special language with children so its best if parents say nothing unless its simple and has no adult words like "wont hurt" or "this is easy" or "you have nothing to worry about" since all of these adult phrases imply the opposite to a child's psyche...
How often should my child visit the dentist?
We generally recommend scheduling checkups every six months. Depending on the circumstances of your child’s oral health, we may recommend more frequent visits.
Baby teeth aren’t permanent. Why do they need special care?
Although they don’t last as long as permanent teeth, your child’s first teeth play an important role in development. While they’re in place, these primary teeth help your little one speak, smile, and chew properly. They also hold space in the jaw for permanent teeth. Your child’s general health is affected by the oral health of their teeth and gums.
What’s the best way to clean my baby’s teeth?
Even before your baby’s first tooth appears, we recommend you clean the gums after feedings with a damp, soft washcloth. As soon as the first tooth appears, you can start using a toothbrush. We also encourage the use of small micro amounts of fluoridated toothpaste be applied to the child's teeth once they start to erupt into the mouth. The more resilient we make their teeth, the better chance they have to be cavity free.
At what age is it appropriate to use toothpaste to clean my child’s teeth?
Once your child has the first tooth, you can start using fluoridated toothpaste on the brush or on a clean finger. Use only a tiny amount of fluoridated toothpaste (the size of a half grain of rice) for each cleaning.
What causes cavities?
Too frequent consumption/snacking of foods that cause acid production in the mouth ALONG with teeth that have not been hardened properly from the eruption of the child's first tooth. Its really this simple.
How can I help my child avoid cavities?
Be sure that you are brushing your child's teeth twice daily, not leaving it up to them. This is the secret of pediatric dentists and why our children do not get cavities. It is the simple dual mandate of using fluoride toothpaste from the eruption of the first tooth along with the fact that WE brush our children twice daily up until the age of 10 years old. Yes that is the secret...
Does my child need dental sealants?
Maybe, maybe not. Sealants work great on the children who dont need them and often are not placed on the children that do. Why this is the case is a larger conversation for the office.
My child plays sports. How can I protect their teeth?
Even children’s sports involve contact, and we recommend mouthguards for children active in sports. If your little one plays baseball, soccer, or other sports, ask us about having a custom-fitted mouthguard made to protect the teeth, lips, cheeks, and gums.
What should I do if my child sucks their thumb?
Nothing unles they are 30 years old :)
When should my child have dental X-rays taken?
We recommend taking X-rays when the child is ready to have an xray that can be read correctly and that there is something to read that is important. Unfortunately xrays are another pediatric dental topic that is distorted from online nonsense and insurance companies. Speak to DrJ about xrays and their importance or non importance.