Pediatric Dentistry FAQs
Everyone wants to have a healthy and happy child. And even before your baby’s first tooth appears, this can be the perfect opportunity to set up healthy oral habits so they keep smiling. And there are many common questions with regards to looking after your child’s teeth and pediatric dentistry in general. Here are some of the most commonly asked ones.
Are Baby Teeth Really That Important?
Some people may believe baby teeth are not that important because they are the very first ones and not the “final” set of teeth, so they don’t require that much care and attention. However primary, or baby teeth are important for numerous reasons. They are pivotal to forming a path that the later, permanent, teeth will follow. In addition to this, they will help children to speak clearly and chew in a natural manner.
When Should My Child Make Their First Visit to the Dentist?
It’s recommended that you schedule an appointment for your child 6 months after their first tooth has arrived. If a tooth has not arrived by the time they turn one, you should still schedule an appointment for us to make sure that there aren’t any underlying issues. Sometimes, a baby’s teeth can come late and they can all come at once.
What Is the Difference Between Pediatric Dentistry and a Normal Dentist?
We understand that visiting the dentist can be an intimidating experience for grown-ups! Our pediatric dentists have additional training after studying at dental school. The difference between traditional dentists and pediatric dentists is that they have more experience in treating children of all ages. That extra training makes all the difference!
How Can I Prepare My Child for Their First Appointment?
When you are speaking to your child about going to the dentist, it’s important to remain positive. We are specialists that have trained in working with children who can feel anxious. It’s important for you, as the parents, to not place so much importance on the first visit. You can prepare them by having a positive attitude. If you have a positive attitude, it’s likely that your child will too. Even if you feel some dread, our environment is created to be as relaxing as possible.
What Happens During My Child’s First Visit?
Even if you are feeling anxious about it, the first visit is very quick. It’s all about taking the time to get to know your child in a relaxed and friendly environment. The dentist will check their teeth and make sure there are no issues with the jaw or the gums. We will also take the opportunity to clean your child’s teeth and apply a fluoride varnish. We will also provide some tips on how to look after their teeth.
How Often Does My Child Need To See the Pediatric Dentist?
A rule of thumb is roughly every six months. This is recommended to prevent other dental problems or cavities. The dentist will tell you how often a visit is necessary based on the initial appointment.
Are Thumbsucking and Pacifier Habits Harmful for a Child’s Teeth?
While many children cannot bear to part from their beloved pacifier, the sucking habits will only become a problem if it goes on for a long time. Usually, children will stop these habits by themselves but if they are still using a pacifier or sucking their thumbs or fingers after 3 years old, a pediatric dentist may recommend a oral appliance.
When Should We Begin Using Toothpaste?
You can start at birth using a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. When their first teeth erupt, you can use a tiny drop of fluoride toothpaste, to brush their teeth twice a day using an age-appropriate toothbrush. When the children are between 3 and 6 years old, increase the amount to the size of a pea, and help your child with performing proper tooth brushing technique. It’s important to remember that children should not swallow any excess toothpaste after brushing, and should always spit it out.
How Can I Help My Child To Develop Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits?
The importance of making brushing their teeth fun can help. We educate parents and children about the proper brushing techniques, but if you are trying to get your child to brush the teeth you can do some of the following:
- Singing a song while brushing their teeth.
- Using their favorite toy to “model” brushing.
- Letting them play with a toothbrush so they get used to having it in their mouth.
- Brushing your teeth together.
How Do We Make Our Children’s Diet Better for Their Teeth?
The primary rule in making sure that your child has healthy teeth is by having a balanced diet. Make sure that you limit the servings of sugar and starch, as this will reduce the potential for teeth decay.
What Happens if My Child Has a Toothache?
The first thing to do is to rinse the area with warm saltwater. If your child’s face is swollen, place a cold compress on it. Administer children’s Tylenol if they are having any pain, and schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist as soon as possible.
What Should I Do if My Child Has a Dental Emergency?
Depending on the nature of the emergency, it is always important to minimize pain in the area while also rinsing the area using saltwater to reduce the spread of bacteria. Finally, schedule an emergency appointment.
When Will My Child’s Teeth Fall Out?
Your child should have 20 primary teeth by the time they are 3 years of age. The first molars come in when they are around the age of 6 and come behind the primary teeth. This means that your child will lose their first tooth around 6 to 7 years old. This can go on until their last baby tooth goes, which can fall out around 12 years old.
What if I Have Any Other Concerns?
It is natural to be concerned about your child’s oral health. But if you are considering scheduling your child’s first pediatric dentistry appointment or you have any other questions, here at Hines Little Smiles, Dr. Hines and the team will be happy to answer any questions you may have and start your child on a healthy and happy relationship with their dentist.