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FAQ's

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Do I stay with my child during their visit?

We invite you to stay with your child during the initial examination. During future appointments, we suggest you allow your child to accompany our staff through the dental experience. Every child is different and parents are allowed even encouraged to join their children in the rooms if it means making it a better expereince for the child.


What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist?

Pediatric dentistry focuses on the unique and oral health needs of young people. Two to three years of additional training and education is required for pediatric dentist. This specialized program of study prepares the pediatric dentist to meet the unique needs for special health issues of children as well as infants, children’s and adolescents.


What is the importance of Baby Teeth (primary Teeth)?

It is vital that baby teeth are kept in place until they are lost naturally. These teeth serve a number of critical functions: Primary Teeth help maintain good nutrition by allowing your child to chew properly. They are involved in speech development. It also helps to save space for the permanent teeth to come in. A healthy smile always can help children feel good about they way they look.


When should their first dental visit be?

The first dental exam should occur after the first tooth erupts and no later than the child’s first birthday. This may between 6 months to twelve months of age. Beginning tooth and mouth examinations may lead to better detection of early stages of tooth decay that can easily be treated. At the first visit we will discuss home care for teeth, diet and the importance of fluorides. We will do a risk assessment and talk about Early Childhood Caries that may be due to inappropriate nursing habits or sippie cups. We will give you facts about finger, thumb and pacifier habits.


Should I worry about thumb or finger sucking?

Thumb sucking is perfectly normal for infants. It must stop by age 2. If your child does not stop, start discouraging it. Prolonged thumb sucking can create crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems. We will have suggestions for you to address a prolonged thumb sucking habit.


What kind of dental problems can infants/children have?

A big concern is early childhood caries, also known as baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries. Your child risks severe decay from using a bottle during naps or at night or when they continually nurse from the breast. Children can also develop speech problems or unusual growth patterns with their teeth. Sometimes this is due to crowded teeth or bite problems.


How often should my child visit the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a dental check up every 6 months or twice a year fro children. Some children will need more frequent visits because of increased risk of tooth decay, unusual growth patterns or poor oral hygiene.


Why visit the dentist twice a year when my child has never had a cavity?

Regular dental visits promote your child to stay cavity free. Teeth cleaning remove debris that build up on teeth, irritate the gums and cause decay. Fluoride treatments renew the fluoride content in the enamel, strengthens teeth and preventing cavities. Hygiene instructions improve your child’s brushing and flossing, leading to cleaner teeth and healthier gums. Tooth decay isn’t the only reason to visit your dentist. Your pediatric dentist makes ongoing assessments of your child oral health. For example your child may need additional fluoride, dietary changes, or sealants. We can identify orthodontic problems and suggest treatment to guide the teeth as they emerge in the mouth.


What are sealants? How do they sealants work? How long do they last?

Sealants protect the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, especially the chewing surfaces of back teeth where most cavities in children are found. Made of clear or shaded plastic, sealants are applied to the teeth to help keep them cavity free.

Even if your child brushes and flosses carefully, it is difficult, sometime impossible to clean the tiny grooves and pits on certain teeth. Food and bacteria build up in these crevices placing your child in danger of tooth decay. Sealants, “seal out” food and plaque, thus reducing the amount of those things that cause tooth decay.

Research shows that sealants can last for many years if properly cared for. So your child should be protected throughout the most cavity prone years. If your child has good oral hygiene and avoids biting hard objects or chewing sticky foods, sealants will last longer. Your pediatric dentist will check the sealants during routine visits and can recommend reapplication or repair when necessary.


How often should a child have a dental X-ray films?

Since every child is unique, the need for dental x-rays varies from child to child. Films are taken are taken to see what visual exams cannot. In general, children need x-rays more often than adults, therefore we recommend they be taken at every hygiene visit, usually twice a year or every 6 months. X-rays are needed to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone disease, evaluate the results of an injury as well as diagnose caries that are between the teeth.


Am I allowed back with my child during treatment?

Parents are invited back to accompany their child during the initial examination and during any emergency visits. Additionally, parents are always allowed to accompany any child three years of age or younger. During other visits, we encourage parents to allow children to enter the treatment area alone. It is our experience that children typically behave better when their parents are not present, and thus tend to have a more positive experience. If we feel that your presence might benefit your child, we will ask you to join us in the treatment area. This arrangement allows the doctor and staff to communicate with your child directly without distractions. We are willing to make accommodations under special circumstances, but this can only be done during certain times of the day. Please let our receptionist know if you request special accommodations. During sedation treatment, no parents are allowed to observe , after the procedure has started due to safety concerns. There can be no exceptions to this. Finally, if you expect your child to do well and enjoy their visit to our office, chances are they will do just that!


If you have any additional questions, please contact us today.


For more commonly ask questions, please visit the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry website.