If you have any questions about our services or company, consider looking at our
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to try and find your answer. If you are still
unable to find an answer to your question, you are always welcome to contact us
directly and ask. We are happy to answer any question, whether from you or your
child, and we are excited to be providing your child the best dental care possible.

Why is a pediatric dentist different than a regular dentist?

A pediatric dentist usually has specialized training from an accredited college. This training is usually two extra years than a normal dentist. A pediatric dentist is dedicated to the oral health of all children, from infancy through teenage years. The various age groups of children, such as very young, pre-teen and teenager, requires a different approach to their dental care because they have different behaviors and development concerns. Therefore a pediatric dentist is more qualified to deal with these types of patients and meet the needs of children. Pediatric dentists are also trained to handle kids who are physically, medically, or cognitively disabled.

What are primary teeth and why are they important?

Primary teeth are generally considered to be baby teeth. These teeth are important for proper eating and chewing, guiding permanent teeth into the right position and providing space for the permanent teeth, along with allowing healthy development of the muscles and jaw bones.

Therefore, it is important to maintain healthy cleaning habits for the primary teeth, as cavities could lead to problems with developing permanent teeth. The primary teeth of a child will affect both speech and appearance. The front four teeth will last until the child is six or seven years of age, but the primary back teeth (molars and cuspids) will stay in the mouth until age 10 to 13.

Why should my child have dental x-rays?

Radiographs (x-rays) are a necessary part of your child’s dental health process. X-rays can help diagnose certain dental conditions that could be missed otherwise. X-rays do detect cavities, but they can detect much more, including erupting teeth, diagnosing bone disease, plan orthodontic treatments and can even evaluate results of an injury. Dentists will use x-rays to treat and diagnose conditions that can’t be found during a regular examination. This is very helpful because many problems can be diverted by finding these problems early.

Children should have an x-ray and an examination every six months if they have a risk of tooth decay, says the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Most dentists believe that radiographs should be given once per year, though once every three years, a complete set of x-rays should be done, including panoramic and bitewings. Many parents are worried about the radiation from x-rays, but pediatric dentists take extreme cautions to ensure there is minimal exposure to radiation by using contemporary safeguards, such as lead body aprons and shields. Modern equipment will also restrict the x-ray to the specific area where it’s required. In all honesty, the exposure to radiation is a smaller risk than untreated dental problems.

Is caring for my child’s teeth the same as caring for my own?

In almost all cases, yes. Once a child has his or her first tooth, you should begin brushing it. When the child is old enough not to swallow toothpaste, a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste should be used.

Once the child is four or five years of age, he or she should be able to brush their own teeth with the help of a parent. This should be done twice per day. Generally, children of age seven and above should be able to brush their teeth alone without help and supervision, but each child is different and your pediatric dentist will advise you as to when you should stop supervising.

The toothbrush should be at a 45-degree angle to the teeth and you should start brushing from the gum-line with a soft-bristle brush in a circular motion. Move the brush upwards and brush the entire outer surface of the tooth from gum to tip, on both the front and inner sides. Then repeat the method for the bottom teeth and then finish off with brushing the tongue.

Flossing is also important, even for children. Once two teeth are touching, they should be flossed. The parent will need to floss the teeth for the child until he or she can do it on their own. Use 18 inches of floss, winding the ends of the floss around the middle fingers. The floss should be tight; using a gentle back-and-forth motion, place the floss between the teeth and clean them. Curve floss slightly and slide it in between the tooth and the gum until there is some resistance. This should be done for every tooth and the back of the last four teeth (upper and lower).

What are healthy snacks for my child?

Healthy teeth require a healthy diet. Children need to eat foods from all the major food groups and there should be some sort of variety to the foods. Snacks that are high in sugar can cause cavities, so these should be removed from the diet or given very sparingly. The more snacks a child has, the greater chance for tooth decay, so it is important to keep this in mind. Hard candies and mints are in the mouth for long periods, so the acids from these snacks can attack the tooth enamel.

Snacks should be nutritious, such as low-fat yogurt, cheese and vegetables. However, if a sugary treat is eaten, the child should brush their teeth afterwards.

Is there a way to prevent cavities?

The best way to prevent cavities is to provide good oral hygiene, such as brushing teeth correctly and using floss. For infants, it is not required to brush teeth, but you should wet some gauze or use a damp washcloth to wipe the gums and teeth. Children shouldn’t be put to bed with a bottle, unless it is filled with water.

Older children must brush their teeth twice per day, at least. If a lot of sugary snacks are consumed, they will need their teeth brushed more often. From your child’s first birthday onwards, the child should have a dental visit every six months. For those at high risk of cavities, the pediatric dentist may recommend fluoride treatments or protective sealants.

What are sealants and are they necessary?

A sealant is just a plastic material that is applied to the grooves (chewing surfaces) of the back teeth or on any teeth deemed at risk for dental problems. This plastic material is usually clear or lightly shaded. This sealant is a barrier to plaque, acid and food, which will protect the surface areas of the teeth.

If a pediatric dentist recommends sealants, then yes, they are considered necessary, especially if brushing and flossing isn’t keeping out the food and plaque.

Do I need to worry about baby-bottle tooth decay in my infant?

This is actually considered a very common type of decay and can be very serious. If an infant has a long exposure to or frequent exposure to liquids with sugar in them, it could cause baby bottle tooth decay. Liquids that include sugars include milk (even breast milk), baby formula and fruit juice, along with other sweetened drinks.

A baby bottle filled with water is the only thing an infant should have in bed at night or for naps. For babies who take comfort from baby bottles at night, water should be the only option. Babies will cry for their preferred liquid, which may last up to two weeks. Instead of giving in to their demands, keep them with their baby bottles full of water; after two week, your child should understand this is their only bedtime drink.

After babies are fed their bottles, the gums and teeth should be wiped with a clean damp washcloth. You should position the baby so you can see inside their mouth when doing this process.

When will my baby’s teeth start coming in?

The process of teething is when the primary (baby) teeth start coming through the gums and into the mouth. This is variable process and some babies will get their teeth in early, while others get them in late. A baby’s first tooth will usually be one of the lower front teeth and will begin to come in between six and eight months.

When will children start getting their permanent teeth in?

All baby teeth are usually in by age three, though the order of their coming in and the pace can vary. Permanent teeth usually start appearing by age six, usually starting with the lower incisors and molars. The entire process can continue until age 21, though most people get all their permanent teeth in much sooner. Adults have a total of 28 permanent teeth, and up to 32 including wisdom teeth.

What are the most common dental emergencies?

The most common dental emergency is the toothache. This can be caused by many things. To help until you can visit the dentist, clean to tooth thoroughly and the teeth surrounding the problem tooth. Rinse your mouth with warm water and try using floss to remove any debris or food that can be causing the toothache. If pain persists, a trip to the dentist is recommended. Regular pain medication can be given, but the medicine shouldn’t be applied directly to the tooth or gum. The dentist should be contacted immediately if the face is swollen and a cold compress should be used until the dentist can check the face and mouth.

Another common dental problem includes a cut to the tongue, cheek or lip. Ice should be applied to the area. Firm, but gentle pressure should be applied with a cloth if there is bleeding. If the bleeding doesn’t stop within 15 minutes or it is uncontrollable, the child should be taken to the emergency room. The last of the common dental problems is the knocked out tooth. If the tooth is a permanent tooth, you should find the tooth, if possible. Try not to touch the root of the tooth and rinse it off quickly with cool water. Check the tooth for any fractures or other problems. If there are none, place the tooth back into the socket and have the child bite on gauze or a cloth to keep the tooth in place until the dentist can be contacted and you can get into the office.

If the tooth cannot be reinserted, place the tooth in a cup with milk or some of the child’s saliva, and take the child and the tooth to the dentist immediately.

If the tooth can be saved, time is of the essence. If you do not get to the dentist as soon as possible, the tooth will probably be lost.