Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?
Pediatric dentistry is a dental specialty that focuses on the oral health of infants, children, and adolescents. Following dental school, a pediatric dentist has two to three years of additional specialty training focused on the unique needs of infants, children, and adolescents, including those with special health needs.
At what age should my child have his/her first dental visit?
A great and easy way to remember this is a first tooth or first birthday! Typically, a child will get their first tooth by 6 months of age so whichever one comes first! Please don’t wait to get your little one seen by a dental professional. Some parents worry that their child won’t be cooperative at that age, but we make the experience, simple, easy, and fun!
How should I clean my baby’s teeth?
A toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head, especially one designed for infants, is the best choice. Brushing at least once a day, at bedtime, will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay.
What is baby bottle tooth decay and how can I prevent it
Baby bottle tooth decay is a pattern of rapid decay associated with prolonged nursing. It happens when a child goes to sleep while breastfeeding and/or bottle-feeding. During sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced and the natural self-cleansing action of the mouth is diminished. Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottles. Encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday. He/she should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age.
What’s the Best Toothpaste for my Child?
Tooth brushing is one of the most important tasks for good oral health. Many kinds of toothpaste, and/or tooth polishes, however, can damage young smiles. They contain harsh abrasives, which can wear away young tooth enamel. When looking for a toothpaste for your child, make sure to pick one that is recommended by the American Dental Association as shown on the box and tube. These toothpastes have undergone testing to insure they are safe to use.
Remember, children should spit out toothpaste after brushing to avoid getting too much fluoride. If too much fluoride is ingested, a condition known as fluorosis can occur. If your child is too young or unable to spit out toothpaste, consider providing them with fluoride-free toothpaste, using no toothpaste, or using only a “pea size” amount of toothpaste.
What detrimental oral habits should I be on the lookout for?
Thumb sucking, chronic pacifier use, and other oral habits tend to be common among children early on in life. Parents are encouraged to remind children to stop when they see them displaying these habits. Long-term habits can lead to irreversible damage to the developing teeth and surrounding bones. If your child has a problem breaking a habit or if you have noticed a change in their bite you should contact a pediatric dentist for an evaluation.
Bruxism is the involuntary act of teeth grinding or tightening the jaw/jaw clenching. In most cases, bruxism in children is nocturnal, meaning that it only occurs at night while they sleep. Many times this habit goes on without the parent or child knowing. Some indications to look out for are: grinding noises at night, complaints of facial pain or pain in the jaw, and frequent waking during the night. There is no specific cause for bruxism but many professionals believe that it is caused by possible stress at home or at school. While many children tend to show signs of bruxing, most outgrow this habit well before their permanent teeth grow in. Children who continue with this habit long-term can do significant damage to their teeth which would warrant the use of a night guard. A pediatric dentist can help to develop a plan to treat bruxism and help everyone get a good night’s sleep.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes the benefits of Xylitol on the oral health of infants, children, adolescents, and persons with special healthcare needs.
The use of XYLITOL GUM by mothers (2-3 times per day) starting 3 months after delivery and until the child was 2 years old, has proven to reduce cavities up to 70% by the time the child was 5 years old.
Studies using Xylitol as either a sugar substitute or a small dietary addition have demonstrated a dramatic reduction in new tooth decay, along with some reversal of existing dental caries. Xylitol provides additional protection that enhances all existing prevention methods. This Xylitol effect is long-lasting and possibly permanent. Low decay rates persist even years after the trials have been completed.
Xylitol is widely distributed throughout nature in small amounts. Some of the best sources are fruits, berries, mushrooms, lettuce, hardwoods, and corn cobs. One cup of raspberries contains less than one gram of Xylitol.
Studies suggest Xylitol intake that consistently produces positive results ranged from 4-20 grams per day, divided into 3-7 consumption periods. Higher results did not result in greater reduction and may lead to diminishing results. Similarly, a consumption frequency of fewer than 3 times per day showed no effect.
To find gum or other products containing Xylitol, try visiting your local health food store or search the Internet to find products containing 100% Xylitol.
Do you have any specific questions?
Reach out to our pediatric dentistry office today! We’re happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your child’s dental needs.
9:00am – 5:00pm
9:00am – 5:00pm
9:00am – 5:00pm
9:00am – 5:00pm