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Top 10 Questions To Ask Your Pediatric Dentist

Dentists and Dental Procedures

It is important to instill good oral hygiene habits in your young children as early as possible, and one crucial element to their oral health is finding a reliable pediatric dentist. Your pediatric dentist will be your guide to keeping your children’s teeth clean and healthy. Here is a guide to what questions you should ask your child’s dentist.

1. At what age do I bring my child in for the first dental check-up?

There is some flexibility as to when you should schedule your child’s first dental check-up. According to some oral care experts, you should take your child to the dentist for the first time when she is three years old. The American Dental Association, though, states that a child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than her first birthday to prevent dental problems.

2. How do I clean my baby’s teeth?

It is important to remove plaque before it leads to decay. Use a soft-bristled, small-head toothbrush designed specifically for infants at least once day, preferably before bedtime.

3. What is the different between a family dentist and a pediatric dentist?

Pediatric dentists are trained to care for a child’s teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of childhood, up to adolescence. Unlike family dentists, pediatric dentists complete two years of residency training in dentistry for children after completing four years of dental school.

Another reason why you should a pediatric dentist for your child is because pediatric dentists are equipped to make children feel at ease while at the dentist’s office. Pediatric dentists know that children may be nervous or wiggly while in the dentist’s chair. To help calm children, pediatric dentists may allow a child to see all of the dental equipment before a routine checkup begins and will employ soothing methods to help children calm during the visit.

4. Why do I need to care for my child’s baby teeth?

Your pediatric dentist will demonstrate proper techniques for caring for your child’s primary teeth, while establishing good oral care habits for your child. This is important because primary teeth help your child speak, chew properly, and make room for future adult teeth.

5. Will thumbsucking and pacifiers damage my child’s teeth?

Thumbsucking and pacifiers offer a child a way of self-soothing, and in that regard are healthy habits for them. However, if the habit continues past the age of three, talk to your child’s dentist about the consequences of long-term thumbsucking and pacifier use and if a mouth appliance is recommended for your child.

6. What are dental sealants and are they necessary for my child?

Food particles can easily get trapped in hard-to-reach places and in bumpy hills and valleys of teeth’s chewing surfaces. Dental sealants are clear shields that fill in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth to protect the teeth from decay-causing plaque.

7. When is it safe to start using toothpaste?

The ADA recommends cleaning your baby’s gums with a clean washcloth or soft infant toothbrush and water to get your child use to having their teeth cleaned. When the first tooth appears, start using a smear of fluoridated toothpaste at least once a day. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 should brush with a pea-size amount of toothpaste. Supervise and encourage your child to spit out all of the toothpaste.

8. After the first visit, how often should my child have a dental check-up?

It is recommended that your child have a dental check-up every six months. During each visit, your child’s dentist will monitor the development and health of your child’s teeth, as well as look for signs of tooth decay.

9. How much fluoride does my child need?

Your dentist can evaluate the fluoride level of your drinking water, which should be the primary source of your child’s fluoride. If it appears that there are low levels of fluoride in the water, your pediatric dentist may recommend fluoride supplements.

10. Are dental X-rays safe for my child?

Dental offices provide the standard safety measures, such as lead aprons and high-speed film, when administering X-rays. There is little risk in dental X-rays, which are used when one or more of the permanent teeth are not forming or when there is concern about the child developing tooth decay.

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