Three children all getting their teeth cleaned

FAQs About Pediatric Dentistry

Mar 6, 2020

Parents often ask us questions about pediatric dentistry. And trust us, there are no silly questions. We’re here to answer everything from “How do I clean my infant’s teeth?”, to “What do I do if my child knocks out a tooth?”… and everything in between. So let’s dive right in!

Q: What should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?

A: Even before your baby’s first tooth appears, clean his or her gums after feedings with a damp, soft washcloth. After their first tooth appears, you can start using a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Q: When should I take my child to the dentist for their first check-up?

A: According to the ADA, it’s recommended that a child first visit the dentist either size months after his or her first tooth erupts or by the age of one. Having a comfortable first appointment will help put your child at ease for any future dental visits.

Q: What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

A: We have an entire blog post dedicated to this answer! 

Q: Are baby teeth really that important to my child?

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

Q: What should I do if my child has a toothache?

A: First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face of it is swollen. Give your child Children’s Tylenol for any pain. See a dentist as soon as possible.

Q: Are thumbsucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child’s teeth?

A: Thumb sucking and pacifier habits generally only become a problem if they are done for a long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of three, a mouth appliance may be recommended.

Q: How can I prevent decay caused by nursing?

A: It is best to avoid nursing children to sleep. It is also important to learn the proper way to brush and floss your child’s teeth.

Q: How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?

A: We generally recommend scheduling check-ups every six months, though depending upon your child’s needs, more frequent visits may be needed.

Q: When do I begin using toothpaste on my child and how much do I use?

A: When your child has a few teeth, you can start using fluoride toothpaste on the brush. Use only a tiny amount for each cleaning. Children have a tendency to want to swallow toothpaste, so be sure to teach them how to rinse and spit it out.

Q: How do dental sealants work?

A: Dental sealants work by filling crevasses on the chewing surfaces of teeth. The application is fast and comfortable and can protect the teeth for many years.

Q: How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?

A: We can evaluate the fluoride level in your child’s drinking water. If they are not getting enough fluoride internally through water, then we may prescribe a fluoride supplement. 

Q: Is fluoride safe for my child?

A: We have another excellent blog post about that one too!

Q: What can I do to protect my child’s teeth during sporting events?

A: We recommend a mouth guard for children who play sports. Whether your child plays baseball, soccer, or other sports, ask us about having a custom-fitted mouth guard made to protect their teeth, lips, cheeks, and gums.

Q: What do I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?

A: Remain calm and find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and come see us immediately. 

Q: How safe are dental X-rays?

A: There is very little risk in dental X-rays. We are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation your child is exposed to. Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure the safety of your child.

Did we miss any questions you might have had? Don’t hesitate to contact us! 

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