Frequently Asked Questions
- Why Should I Choose a Pediatric Dentist Instead of a Regular Dentist for My Child?
A pediatric dentist is a dentist who, after dental school, specializes in the oral health of children from infancy through adolescence for two to three years. Pediatric dentists receive special training in child psychology and behavior modification to help make your child’s dental visits pleasant and comfortable. By understanding the unique growth and development of child’s teeth, our doctors can help prevent future dental problems for your child.
- What Kind of Specialized Training Is Required to Become a Pediatric Dentist?
A pediatric dentist has completed the following:
- 4 years of dental school
- 2 or 3 additional years of residency training in pediatric dentistry that focuses on dental care for infants, young children, pre-teens, teens, and children with special needs
- What Kind of Specialized Training is Required to Become an Orthodontist?
An orthodontist has completed the following:
- 4 years of dental school
- 2 or 3 additional years of advanced specialized training in orthodontics
- Supervised clinical rotations
- When Should My Child Have Their First Visit with a Pediatric Dentist?
According to the Academy Of Pediatric Dentistry, your child should visit a dentist 6 months after his or her first tooth eruption or by his or her 1st birthday.
- How Do I Prepare My Child for His or Her First Dental Visit?
You can help make your child’s first visit to the dentist enjoyable by preparing your child for the visit and by maintaining a positive attitude during the dental visit. Before your child’s dental visit, make sure that he or she does not overhear a friend or family member sharing a story about a negative experience with the dentist. Your child should be informed of the visit and told that the dentist will count his or her teeth, clean the teeth, and take pictures of the teeth. During your child’s visit, try to stay calm and relaxed so that your child will also feel the same way. It is best if you refrain from using words around your child that may cause unnecessary fear or anxiety, such as needle, shot, drill, or pain. We always use kid-friendly vocabulary to explain dental treatments and procedures. We even allow our patients to touch many of the dental tools we use during their visit so that they are not intimidated by the dental equipment.
- Why Do We Need to Fix Baby Teeth if They Are Not Permanent?
Baby teeth are very important and serve a number of vital functions. They are necessary for proper chewing, preserve space for the unerupted permanent teeth and guide them into their proper positions, allow normal development of the jaws and muscles, and facilitate proper speech and pronunciation. A bright and healthy smile can also help instill self-confidence in your child. If neglected, cavities on baby teeth can lead to more serious problems such as dental pain and infections.
- How Can I Prevent My Child from Having Cavities?
Begin with brushing your child's teeth at least twice a day with a small amount of toothpaste. Also use floss daily to help clean the areas between his or her teeth. Set up a regular brushing schedule so that your child gets used to the routine and learns the importance of brushing his or her teeth. In addition, try to limit the amount and frequency of sugar intake such as soda, juice, candies, fruit, cookies, peanut butter and jelly, etc. These foods can contribute to cavities.
- How Should I Be Cleaning My Child's Teeth?
You can begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they appear. At first, you can use a piece of gauze or small towel moistened with water to wipe your baby's teeth and gums. You don't need to use toothpaste, but try to clean your baby's teeth at least twice a day. When your child has more teeth, you can begin using a small toothbrush with a tiny amount of toothpaste.
- When Do Teeth Erupt?
Your child’s first tooth will typically erupt between 6 to 12 months of age. Teeth will continue to erupt until about 3 years of age when all 20 baby teeth are present. The following timeline is a general estimate and will vary from child to child. It is perfectly normal for a child to show his or her first tooth as early as 3 months or as late as the first birthday. Some babies are even born with teeth!
4-10 months: Teething begins. Your baby's gums may be swollen and red where the teeth are cutting through.
6 to 10 months: First teeth erupt, usually on the bottom in the middle (lower central incisors). These two teeth arrive at about the same time.
8 to 12 months: Upper middle teeth (the upper central incisors) emerge.
9 to 13 months: Upper teeth right next to the middle teeth (upper lateral incisors) come next.
10 to 16 months: Bottom teeth right next to the middle teeth (lower lateral incisors) make their appearance.
13 to 18 months: The first molars come in on the bottom and the top at about the same time.
16 to 22 months: The sharp, pointed teeth called the canine or cuspid teeth emerge on the top and bottom.
23 to 31 months: The very back teeth, or second molars, work their way in on the bottom.
25 to 33 months: The second molars on the top come in soon after those on the bottom.
3 years: Your child has a full set of 20 primary teeth, also known as baby teeth.
4 years: Jaw and facial bones grow.
6 years: Permanent teeth begin to erupt and replace the baby teeth.
- Should I Be Worried if My Child Sucks His or Her Thumb?
Thumb sucking is a natural and normal reflex utilized by infants and young children to soothe themselves. Ideally, children should be encouraged to stop sucking habits by the age of 3 or 4. Habits that continue for a longer period of time can create crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems. If they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers when the permanent teeth arrive, a mouth appliance may be recommended.
- Are Dental X-rays Necessary?
Radiographs (X-rays) are important and necessary for your child’s dental examination. At Kids Dental Studio, we use modern digital X-rays that are faster than traditional radiographs and that emit less radiation. Radiographs allow us to diagnose cavities and conditions that cannot be detected during a normal visual examination. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends radiographs for initial examinations and at 6–24 month intervals depending on the age and caries risk of your child.
- How Often Should My Child See the Dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child get a dental check-up at least twice a year. Even if your child has never had a cavity, he or she still needs to see the dentist once every six months.