Pediatric Dental FAQ

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Medical Association recommend that your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears or no later than his/her first birthday.

Between the ages of 12–14 months. After that, parents put their children at high risk for developing caries.

Primary or baby teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, but they also aid in forming a path that the permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.

Decay is caused by plaque -- a thin, sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone's teeth. When sugar is eaten, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack the tooth enamel. After repeated acid attacks, the enamel breaks down, and a cavity or hole is formed in the tooth.

Regular dental visits are an important part of helping your child stay cavity-free. The dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach their children. When added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, these home treatments will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.

Each child's intake can vary greatly. We recommend discussing this during your child's exam. We will often prescribe fluoride supplementation if your child has insufficient fluoride intake.

Generally, the health of your child's permanent teeth will be affected by the same conditions that affect the baby's teeth. This is another reason why your child needs to visit our office regularly.

Fluoride has been shown to dramatically decrease the chance of getting cavities. Many adults who grew up with regular dental care and fluoride supplementation have few or no dental problems.

Any fluoridated toothpaste that the American Dental Association recognizes is recommended.

Thumb and pacifier habits will generally become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children will stop these habits on their own by the time they are 3yrs. We will monitor these habits during exams and help you determine if and when a thumb habit appliance may be recommended.

There is very little risk in dental x-rays. Our state-of-the-art digital technology utilizes a fraction of the radiation used in other "film-based" dental offices. We utilize lead aprons to ensure safety and minimize radiation. X-rays are highly valuable for finding hidden decay, missing teeth, extra teeth, and tumors and for helping determine growth patterns.

This is a very common problem, especially in the front lower incisors. If the teeth are loose, they may come out independently within a few weeks. If the baby teeth are not loose, your dentist may need to extract them. In either case, it is best to make an appointment with your dentist to analyze the situation and determine the best course of action for your child.

A dental sealant is a protective coating applied to the chewing surface of teeth.

Yes! We generally recommend that a soft plastic mouth guard should be used to protect a child's teeth, lips, and cheeks from injuries. If your child plays contact sports, we can create a custom-fitted mouth guard for this purpose.

The most important thing to do is to remain calm. If you have the tooth, attempt to insert it back into its socket and then contact us immediately. If you have difficulty re-inserting the tooth, place it in a glass of milk and contact us immediately.

Permanent teeth are normally more yellow than primary teeth.

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. Pediatric dentists have two to three years of specialty training following dental school. General dentists may limit their practice to seeing children, but they are not specialists. It's like the family doctor calling himself a pediatrician.

Have a question that isn't listed above? Please call our office; our friendly staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have.