Frequently asked dental questions answered by a pediatric dentist

Frequently asked dental questions answered by a pediatric dentist

Dr. Angie Chin, Tiny Sparkles Pediatric Dentistry

Visiting a pediatric dentist is an essential part of maintaining your child’s oral health from infancy through adolescence. Here’s a guide to help you understand when to schedule a visit and some common questions parents often have:

When to Visit a Pediatric Dentist:

1    First Tooth Eruption: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children should have their first dental visit within six months of their first tooth eruption, or by their first birthday, whichever comes first.

2    Regular Check-ups: After the initial visit, regular check-ups every six months are usually advised. However, your pediatric dentist may recommend a different schedule based on your child’s specific needs.

3    Emergencies or Issues: If your child experiences dental pain, injury, or other oral health concerns, it’s crucial to seek immediate care from a pediatric dentist.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • When Should I Start Brushing My Child’s Teeth?

You can start cleaning your baby’s gums even before the first tooth appears. Once the teeth start erupting, use a soft-bristled toothbrush with water or a smear of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice).

2    How Do I Prevent Cavities in My Child’s Teeth?

Encourage healthy eating habits, limit sugary snacks and drinks, and ensure regular brushing and flossing. Your pediatric dentist can also apply dental sealants to protect your child’s teeth from decay.

3    What if My Child Is Afraid of the Dentist?

Pediatric dentists are specially trained to work with children and create a positive dental experience. They use child-friendly language, gentle techniques, and a welcoming environment to help children feel comfortable during their visits.

4    Are X-Rays Safe for My Child?

Pediatric dentists use X-rays as a diagnostic tool to detect cavities, monitor tooth development, and assess overall oral health. They use the lowest radiation dose possible and employ protective measures, such as lead aprons and thyroid collars, to ensure safety.

5    What Can I Do to Help with Teething Discomfort?

Provide your child with teething rings or toys to chew on, gently massage their gums with a clean finger, and offer cool (not frozen) teething rings or washcloths for soothing relief. Over-the-counter pain relievers may also help, but consult with your pediatrician before giving any medication to your child.

6    What Can I Expect During my Child’s First Dental Visit?

Your Pediatric dentist will conduct a thorough examination of their oral health, evaluate dental hygiene practices, demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques, check for any improper habits or bites, and offer any tips tailored to your child’s specific needs.  This is a chance for the child to get accustomed to visiting a dental office regularly, and for the family to create a dental home.  Your child would also get a new toothbrush and a toy from the prize box.

Remember, early and regular visits to the pediatric dentist not only help prevent dental problems but also foster a positive attitude towards oral care that can last a lifetime.


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