Children's Dentistry


At what age should my child first see the dentist?

Generally, we like to see children soon after their first teeth appear. (Usually around their first birthday.) We encourage all parents to bring their children in before their third birthday.

What should I do if my child has tooth pain?

We recommend rinsing the child's mouth with warm salt water. You may place a cold washcloth on their face if it is swollen. Children may be given Tylenol for tooth pain. (Avoid giving aspirin to children with toothaches as it can irritate the tooth.) Contact our office to schedule an appointment immediately.

How should I clean baby teeth?

A soft bristled, small headed toothbrush should be used at least once per day before bedtime. Toothpaste is not necessary for children under 3 years old. The main goal is to remove food residue from your child's teeth.

Is thumb sucking or the use of a pacifier harmful to my child's teeth?

Generally, children will outgrow these habits before they become harmful. Please mention these habits during your child's regular exams so we wan monitor your child's growth. In addition, we recommend orthodontically correct pacifiers.

What is "baby bottle mouth"?

It is often tempting to nurse an infant to sleep or let the child take a bottle to bed. These habits can lead to massive tooth decay as the sugars in the milk, formula or juice are left on the teeth during the night. We recommend brushing your child's teeth before bedtime and providing only water at night.

When will my baby start getting teeth?

Usually the two lower front teeth (central incisors) erupt at about six months of age, followed shortly by the two upper central incisors. During the next 18 to 24 months, the rest of the baby teeth appear, although not in orderly sequence from front to back. All 20 primary teeth should be present at two to three years of age.

How can I comfort my teething baby?

Some children can be comforted from chewing on a teething biscuit, a piece of toast, or a frozen teething ring. Teething medications can also be applied to the gums to reduce discomfort and are available at your pharmacy. A child may also benefit from occasional use of infant Tylenol or another pain reliever.

How often does my child need to see the dentist?

Both children and adults should visit our office every six months in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems.

How much toothpaste should my child use?

Children ages 2-3 should begin using a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste. They should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.

What is a "tooth healthy" diet?

A balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products, meatm, fish and eggs will go along way toward developing overall health. Also, limiting sugars and starches will greatly protect your child's teeth from decay. If you are concerned about your child's eating habits, please discuss this with us during your child's exam.

Why should my child have flouride?

Fluoride has been shown to dramatically decrease the chance of getting cavities. Many of our adult patients who grew up with regular dental care and fluoride supplementation have few or no dental problems.

How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?

Each child's intake can vary greatly. We recommend discussing this during your child's exam. If your child's fluoride intake is insufficient, we will often prescribe fluoride supplementation.

What should I do if my child knocks out a permanent tooth?

The most important thing to do is to remain calm. If you have the tooth, you should attempt to insert it back into its socket and then contact us immediately. If you have difficulty re-inserting the tooth, place it in a glass of milk and contact us immediately.

Should I protect my child's teeth during sports related activities?

We generally recommend that a soft plastic mouth guard should be used to protect a child's teeth, lips, and cheeks from injuries. If your child plays contact sports, we can create a custom fitted mouth guard for this purpose.

Are dental X-rays safe for my child?

There is very little risk from receiving dental X-rays. Our state-of-the-art technology utilizes a fraction of the radiation used in the past. X-rays are highly valuable to find hidden decay, tumors and determine growth patters.

Why do my child's permanent teeth look more yellow than the baby teeth?

Permanent teeth are normally more yellow than primary teeth.

My 8-year-old has a large space between his/her two front teeth. Is this a concern?

Usually there is no need for concern, and the space will close furing the next few years as the other front teeth erupt. We will monitor progress during exams and help you determine if orthodontics may be recommended.

Why does my child need a space maintainer?

A space maintainer or "band and loop" is placed in your child if baby teeth have been lost prematurely, holding the space for the permanent teeth to erupt. Without a space maintainer, the permanent teeth can become trapped and unable to erupt.

Space Maintainer

If my child had a lot of decay in his/her baby teeth, will he/she have the same problem with permanent teeth?

Generally, the health of your child's permanent teeth will be affected by the same conditions that affected the baby teeth. This is another reason why it is important for your child to visit our office on a regular basis.

Why is it necessary to bring my child to the dentist every six months?

Regular visits help a child get comfortable with the dentists and our staff. These visits also allow us to consistently evaluate your child's growth and take early corrective measures if needed. Also, regular exams and cleanings help prevent decay and avoid costly problems. Regular dental visits are part of leading a healthy and normal life for your child.

Should we bother to restore or place fillings on baby teeth? Won't they eventually fall out anyway?

It is unwise to leave any amount of decay on baby teeth. Decay can easily move to other baby teeth or even to permanent teeth. It can also cause pain and expensive orthodontic problems that could have been avoided. We recommend carefully restoring all decayed teeth to optimal health.

What toothpaste is best for my child?

Any fluoridated toothpaste that is recognized by the American Dental Association is recommended. (However, children under 3 should not generally use a fluoridated toothpaste -- they should use a non-fluoridated infant toothpaste or simply water.

What causes cavities and decay?

Decay is caused by plaque -- a thin, sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone's teeth. When sugar is eaten, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack the tooth enamel. After repeated acid attacks, the enamel breaks down and a cavity or hole is formed in the tooth.

Do my children have to have silver fillings?

We do not place any silver fillings. All materials used will be tooth-colored.

Silver Filling in Paediatric patient (before)
Replaced with composite filling (after)


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