Common Prevention Questions
YES! “Baby” (primary) teeth may be small and considered temporary, but they are still very important. They aid in guiding permanent teeth into their proper positions. Without a healthy set of baby teeth, your child may have trouble chewing and speaking clearly. That is the reason why caring for baby teeth and keeping them cavity-free is so important.
Pediatric dentists are the “pediatricians of dentistry”. Pediatric dentists have two to three years of specialty training after dental school and focus their practice to only treating children.
Pediatric dentists provide oral healthcare to children from infancy through adolescence, including children with special needs.
A checkup is generally recommended every six (6) months. However, your pediatric dentist may recommend a different schedule based on your child’s personal oral health condition.
Dental sealant is a thin coating painted on the chewing surfaces of teeth. Sealants help to prevent decay in the pits and grooves of back teeth. They do not prevent decay on all surfaces of the tooth. Proper brushing and flossing are still necessary, or cavities can develop.
Thumb and pacifier habits usually become problems only if they persist for a long period of time. Variables, such as forcefulness and duration of the habits, are important factors in determining their effect on the teeth and jaws. Most children stop these non-nutritive sucking habits on their own; however, if they continue into the school years, Dr. Chin may recommend a mouth appliance or a visit with an orthodontist to address the issues.
There is very little risk with digital dental x-rays. Pediatric dentists are careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. The use of a lead apron and digital radiography provides safety and minimizes the amount of radiation.
Helping your child brush and floss regularly will play a very important role in preventing tooth decay. Limiting the frequency of carbohydrates will also play a large part in preventing dental decay. Visit the dentist regularly, starting with the eruption of the first tooth. Proper oral hygiene, when added to regular dental visits and a good balanced diet, will help give your child a healthy smile for a lifetime.
Common Hygiene Questions
Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or soft cloth and water. Parents should use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Once children are 3 to 6 years old, then the amount should be increased to a pea-size amount and you can assist your child’s tooth brushing. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth efficiently or effectively. Children should be instructed to spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing. Brush your child’s teeth or assist them with brushing. It takes many years before children are old enough to brush their teeth effectively by themselves. Supervision is also very important to ensure that they do not swallow excess amounts of toothpaste.
Common Pain and Injury Questions
A soft-plastic, custom-fitted mouthguard fabricated by a pediatric dentist or orthodontist can help to protect teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sports-related injuries.
The most important thing to do is to locate the tooth. Hold the tooth by the crown (top), rather than the root, and try to carefully re-insert the tooth into its socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the closest emergency room or pediatric dentist.
First, rinse the irritated region with warm salt water. Place a cold compress on the face if there is swelling. Give the child pain medication, such as acetaminophen, rather than placing aspirin on the teeth or gums. Call and see your dentist as soon as possible.