- What is a board certified pediatric dentist?
A pediatric dentist that is board certified, or Diplomat, has gone through a rigorous testing process with the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. A board certified pediatric dentist is a specialist that demonstrates an exceptional knowledge and expertise at a standard not possessed by other dentists.
- What is a Pediatric Dentist?
A pediatric dentist is a dentist who is specialized in the oral health care needs of children, from infancy through young adulthood. A pediatric dentist completes an additional two to three years of advanced pediatric dentistry specialty training after four years of dental school.
Pediatric dentists have additional training in behavior guidance, providing additional options or approaches to examine and treat children in ways that make them comfortable, care of the medically and developmentally compromised patient, supervision of facial skeletal growth and development, cavity prevention, and sedations.
- At what age should I bring my child to the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends for a child’s first visit to the dentist be when their first tooth erupts or by the time they reach age of 1. This is the perfect time to provide counseling about brushing, diet and nutrition, teething, growth and development and any digit or pacifier habits.
At Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry, our goal is to make your child’s first visit as pleasant as it could be! If desired, before you child’s first appointment, we welcome all parents along with their children to tour our office and meet our team to help you and your child build trust in our team and make your child’s first appointment as comfortable as possible!
- At what age will my child’s first teeth erupt?
Your child’s first primary (baby) tooth usually erupts around 6 – 10 months, but can erupt as early as 4 months. The first teeth to erupt are the lower central incisors. Permanent teeth will begin erupting around age 6.
- At what age will my child lose their first tooth?
Children usually lose their first tooth around 6 or 7 years old. Sometimes a child may lose a baby tooth prematurely due to any previous history of dental trauma.
- How do I brush my child’s teeth and which toothpaste should I use?
It is recommended to start cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as the first tooth erupts. A wet washcloth or gauze can be used to wipe plaque off your infant’s teeth and gum twice a day or after every meal. Once your child has several baby teeth, a soft bristled toothbrush with a small head is recommended. It is advised for parents to brush their child’s teeth until they reach the age of 7 or 8.
To do this, you can have your child first brush their own teeth and then tell them that you would like to brush their teeth again to check if they missed any spots. It is also important to floss between teeth to clean the areas the toothbrush could not reach.
For children under 2 years of age, a smear of infant toothpaste is recommended to brush their teeth and a pea-size amount of fluoridated toothpaste is appropriate for children between 2-5 years of age. If your child is unable to spit out toothpaste after brushing, consider using fluoride-free toothpaste or wipe the toothpaste off using a wet washcloth or gauze after cleaning the top teeth and again after cleaning the bottom teeth.
- How did my child get cavities?
Diets that are high in sugar, such as juice, soda, and sweets, along with improper oral hygiene techniques increase a child’s risk for developing cavities. Bacteria in our mouth comes in contact with the sugar on the teeth and the bacteria produces an acid that causes the enamel in the teeth to become weak which can turn into little holes in the tooth called cavities.
- How can I reduce my child’s risk for developing cavities?
It is important for parents to help brush and floss their children’s teeth until 7 or 8 years of age. Limit the amount of sugar in your child’s diet. Encourage your child to drink more water instead of juice and limit frequent snacking between meals. It is also recommended to visit your child’s pediatric dentist every 6 months.
- Why can't we leave decay behind on baby teeth?
Enamel of primary teeth is thinner than permanent teeth and when decay is left behind, it greatly increases the child’s risk for the cavity becoming larger and possibly developing into a dental infection and abscess and potentially causing pain for your child, which could lead to your child needing a possible extraction. It is important to try to retain the baby teeth as long as we can and allow them to fall out on their own as the permanent teeth are erupting. Primary teeth help keep the proper amount of space to help guide the permanent teeth forming underneath them.
- When will my child be ready for braces?
American Association of Orthodontics recommends for children to be evaluated by an orthodontist around age of 7 to evaluate the growth and development of their jaws and the eruption pattern of the developing permanent teeth. Treatment can be broken down into two phases; Phase I or early treatment and Phase II or adolescent treatment. Phase I treatment covers children between the ages of 6-12. Phase II treatment deals with permanent teeth and bite relationship.
- Are x-rays safe?
Dental x-rays are very safe. Dental x-rays provide a very low dose of radiation. A lead apron and lead thyroid collar are used to minimize exposure to the abdomen and thyroid. At Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry we utilize the most advanced digital x-ray to further reduce the already low dosage of radiation.