- Are baby teeth really that important to my child? – Baby teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.
- How safe are dental X-rays? – There is very little risk in dental X-rays. Pediatric dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.
- Will X-rays be taken at every appointment? – No. Pediatric dentists, acting in accordance with the guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommend X-rays only when necessary to protect your child’s dental health. For example, X-rays may be needed to diagnose tooth decay or abnormalities. Or, they may be required for orthodontic treatment. Your pediatric dentist will discuss the need for X-rays with you before any are taken.
- Are thumb sucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child’s teeth? – Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers when the permanent teeth arrive, your pediatric dentist may recommend a mouth appliance.
- At what age should I bring my child to the pediatric dentist? – Children should have the first dental visit within six months of the eruption of the first baby tooth and no later than their first birthday. This is so that an assessment and record can be made of your child’s dental development and risk of getting cavities. This also gives us the opportunity to discuss good oral hygiene practices at home, diet, injury prevention and possible need for fluoride supplements. If we find cavities or other problems, these things can be taken care of early before they become a bigger problem.
- How can I prevent decay caused by nursing? – Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottle. Also, learn the proper way to brush and floss your child’s teeth. Take your child to a pediatric dentist regularly to have his/her teeth and gums checked. The first dental visit should be scheduled by your child’s first birthday. Encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday. Children should not fall asleep with a bottle or cup. At-will nighttime breast-feeding should be avoided after the first primary (baby) teeth begin to erupt. Drinking juice from a bottle should be avoided. When juice is offered, it should be in a cup. Juice and milk should never be given to children when they are going to bed.
- How can parents help prevent tooth decay? – Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.
- How do dental sealants work? – Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This prevents food particles to get caught in the teeth, causing cavities.
- How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist? – A check-up every six months is recommended in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral condition.
- Is it all right for my child to remove her own baby teeth when they become loose? – This is perfectly all right. As the tooth loosens, it is natural for a child to assist the process, which may take several weeks.
- My child has a double row of front teeth. Why is this and what should be done about it? – This is common. Sometimes the permanent teeth begin to come in before the baby teeth are lost. When this happens, unless the child can work the baby teeth out by himself within a few weeks, the pediatric dentist may have to remove them. Once the baby tooth is out, the tongue usually moves the permanent tooth forward into its proper position, if space permits. If this crowded condition should occur in the upper jaw, the baby teeth should be removed immediately.
- My two-year-old child has a cavity in a tooth. Should the tooth be filled? – Yes, it should be treated as soon as possible to avoid pain and infection.
If you face a dental emergency, give us a call immediately.
If you need urgent treatment after hours, you can call our emergency number at 972-758-8777. We are always here to assist when your child’s dental health is at risk.