Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about pediatric dentistry and oral health issues. Please contact us if you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you!
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A: Pediatric dentists have two to three years of specialized training following dental school. They treat the dental needs of children and adolescents. Most of all, they love working with kids.
A: Baby teeth usually exfoliate (fall out) on their own, however molars (back teeth) are frequently retained until 10-12 years of age. Baby teeth are necessary to eat comfortably and for speech formation. If baby teeth are lost prematurely, it may cause the adult teeth to shift position. This affects your child's adult smile, and they will likely require braces.
A: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry guidelines state a child should have their first dental appointment when their first tooth appears or their first birthday, whichever occurs first. Ideally, your child should see a pediatric dentist by age one.
A: As soon as possible. From the time they are born, we recommend cleaning your child’s mouth and gums with a wet washcloth wrapped around your finger. This cleans away excess sugars that help cavity-causing bacteria from growing in your child’s mouth before they even get their first baby tooth. Once the first baby tooth appears, you can start brushing their teeth twice a day with a smear of non-fluoridated toothpaste. Once they are two, we recommend you use a smear (very small amount) of fluoridated toothpaste. If you have questions with this, please ask us for advice. Remember in large quantities, fluoride can be harmful, so use it sparingly until your child is old enough to know to spit it out. Please make sure to assist and monitor your child’s toothbrushing.
A: See emergency tab under patient information.
A: We recommend calling us as soon as possible. We try to see dental emergencies the same day, if necessary. Have your child rinse with salt water and give them acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin) as directed.
A: The use of x-rays in dentistry is considered necessary. X-rays are used to assess diseases of the mouth that are missed by the naked eye. If we do not take these pictures small cavities between the teeth, abscesses, cysts, tumors and other diseases may not be diagnosed. We reduce your child's exposure to radiation by using a lead shield which is impenetrable by x-rays, and we use digital film (faster speed, lower dose). We will not take a radiograph unless we feel it is necessary.
A: To help protect your child's teeth from cavities, limit the sugar to meal times or designated snack times. Limit the frequency of candy and juices. Do not let your child sip on juice or milk throughout the day, or while in bed.
A: Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance that can be used to strengthen your child's teeth and prevent tooth decay. Topical doses of fluoride are normally given at cleaning appointments.
A: Most children stop sucking on fingers, pacifiers or other objects on their own between two and three years of age. If they continue this habit past three years of age, they may form an open-bite. An open bite occurs when the top and bottom teeth do not come together. If the habit continues through childhood, braces or surgery may be necessary.