At Children’s Dental Care and Orthodontics, we are here to provide all the resources you’ll need to keep your child’s teeth healthy and clean. We know that as parents, you may have a lot of questions about your pediatric dentist and what we do in our offices. Read below to see the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get from our families.
A pediatric dentist is a specialist who completes extra years of education specific to the care of children’s teeth. This training is different from family dentists or adult dentists because a child’s teeth are more sensitive to treatments, food and oral care tools. A pediatric dentist is also more gentle, fun and kind because they are passionate about helping kids.
You should bring your child in for their first dental checkup before they turn one, or within six months after their first tooth emerges. It’s important to start seeing the pediatric dentist early on so that your child understands the importance of the routine, and so that your child can become comfortable with their pediatric dentist. Creating that relationship is important for the comfort of your child during visits.
Seeing the dentist once every six months is recommended for keeping teeth clean and healthy. However, your pediatric dentist will be able to best assess the frequency of visits when they come in for a checkup. For instance, if there are any problems with your child’s teeth, like cavities or malocclusion, the dentist may need to see your child more often.
You can (and should) start cleaning your baby’s mouth immediately. You can use a clean washcloth to brush the gums lightly after drinking milk from a bottle. As your baby starts teething and the first teeth emerge, you can continue to use the washcloth to clean your baby’s teeth. Once that first tooth pops up, you can take your baby in to see a dentist, where you will learn about all the milestones of your child’s oral health and what to do at each stage.
If your child has any issues with chewing or talking, or if it becomes uncomfortable while eating food or brushing their teeth, your child may need braces to fix the alignment of their teeth. Braces can correct crooked teeth, overbites or underbites and crowded teeth. Your child should not need braces while they still have their baby teeth, but you should always ask your pediatric dentist if they think your child needs braces when you go in for a routine checkup.
Fluoride is found in many types of toothpastes, and it’s even found in some water bottles and tap water sources. This compound is known for helping in the oral hygiene process. Nowadays, it’s easy to get fluoride in your dental routine and your diet. However, your kid’s dentist will assess the need for more fluoride when they clean your child’s teeth.
The best thing you can do when your child loses the first tooth is to relax and celebrate! Losing baby teeth is a milestone in becoming a big kid. Deciduous teeth naturally fall out on their own, so you don’t need to force them out. Your child should start losing the baby teeth around age six, and will continue to lose them up to age 12. Keep your dentist in the loop of what teeth they lose when you go to your next visit.
Thumb-sucking is a habit meant to soothe an anxious baby. However, if a child continues to suck their thumb after age four, or when the permanent teeth come in, the teeth may grow in crooked, and need braces to fix. Encourage your child to stop the habit around age two to three.
The most important thing you can do to prevent cavities is to start at home with a proper diet and a proper oral care routine. Avoid foods high in sugar and be sure to brush and floss teeth at least twice daily.
When your child chips his or her tooth, try to pick up the tooth, if possible, and hold on to it. Call your pediatric dentist immediately, as in some cases, they will be able to replace the tooth. Make sure that you clean your child’s mouth and the tooth, and try to keep your child calm.
If you still don’t get all your questions answered after reading our FAQ, we have even more information for you on our Patient Education page. Or, you can give us a call at (702) 254- 8858 so we can talk with you about your child’s oral health.
I brought in both of my children (6 and 4), the staff was so friendly, patient, and accommodating. From the receptionist, the hygienist, to the dentist there is a high degree of professionalism exhibited throughout!