FAQs

How often should my child see a pediatric dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children start seeing a dentist every six months, by their first birthday or once their first tooth emerges.

Are Cavities the most common disease in childhood?

If someone were to ask you what the most common chronic illness in children is, what would you say?  Asthma?  Ear infections? Diabetes?  The answer may surprise you.  Tooth decay is actually the most common chronic illness or condition currently affecting our young children.  The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) reports that 60% of children experience cavities by the age of 5. 

Are baby teeth really that important to my child?

Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. They help children speak clearly and chew naturally, and they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.

It is very important to remember that oral health affects more than the health of your teeth. Cavities in baby teeth cause pain and swelling that can be painful and uncomfortable for your child. Additionally, oral infections can enter the blood stream and lead to other potentially serious health problems. Bacteria can quickly transfer from one part of the mouth to another, resulting in cavities and infections in new erupting adult teeth.

Toothpaste: how much should we use and when should we begin using it?

Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or clean washcloth and water. Parents should use a very tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste (too much fluoride can make a baby sick) to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt, along a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush.

What are dental sealants?

Although fluoride use has greatly reduced the number of cavities in children, its success is limited in the deeper parts of our teeth. Sealants are recommended as a safe and simple way to help your child avoid cavities, especially in their molars, which are hardest to reach. They are easily, quickly, and comfortably applied, and they may effectively protect your child’s teeth for many years.

What should I do if my child has a toothache?

The first thing to do is rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on their face if it is swollen. Then, come see us as soon as possible.

How can parents help prevent tooth decay?

Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help establish a lifetime of healthy habits for your child.

What constitutes a dental emergency?

A broken/chipped/fractured tooth, painful toothache, or other dental issue that causes your child pain is considered an emergency. If your child faces a dental emergency, give us a call immediately. We are here to assist when your child’s dental health is at risk.

If your child is bleeding profusely, or you believe they may have a more serious medical injury,

please call 9-1-1 or take your child to the nearest emergency room.

How can I tell if my child is getting enough fluoride?

Fluoride supplies the enamel with important nutrients and minerals that protect our teeth. Our doctors can help you understand how much fluoride your child is getting with a regular oral exam and consultation. Toothpaste is one important source of fluoride, but many communities also add fluoride to their water supply.

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