Education & Procedures

Answers to Common Questions

Click on the links below for the answers to some of the common questions we hear at the office.

At what age should I bring my child in for their first dental visit?

Both the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and your dentist recommend that children have their first dental visit within six months after the eruption of their first tooth or by their first birthday. By providing your child with this early visit, your dentist can observe the development of their soft tissue and bone growth and provide you with helpful suggestions on home dental care, nutrition and diet. Your dentist can show you how to properly clean your child's teeth to prevent dental plaque – the most common bacterial infection in children. By introducing your child to the dentist at an early age, they'll develop a healthy and friendly attitude about dental visits and dental care.

Why is it important to bring my child in for regular visits if they are not having problems?

Preventative dental care is the best way to ensure your child does not develop dental problems. The earlier a dental problem can be detected, the better the chances of fixing or eliminating the problem. By bringing your child to the dentist for regular check-ups every six months, your dentist can help you keep their teeth and gums as healthy as possible. Routine visits to your child's dentist will also provide your child with good dental habits they will have all their life.

Why is it so important for my child to see the dentist every six months?

According to recent studies, the average time for teeth to develop plaque and tartar that can be seen on a radiograph is six months. By seeing your child every six months, your dentist can clean the teeth so they are free of plaque and tartar before serious problems develop. With regular check-ups, your child's dentist can also observe any irregularities in the teeth spacing, bite, tooth mobility and facial structure. If any problems have developed since the last visit, the dentist can apply appropriate and effective treatment. In addition, regular dental check-ups at an early age will help your child accept good dental care as part of their routine.

What is preventive dentistry and why is it important?

Preventive dentistry is more than just dental treatments. Preventive dentistry is an entire lifestyle that promotes good dental care. Preventive dentistry for your child may include:

  • Brushing – Teaching your child to brush regularly will help decrease the chance of dental disease and instill good dental habits in your child.
  • Flossing – Your dentist can teach your child the proper way to floss and its importance in maintaining healthy teeth and a happy smile.
  • Parent/child involvement – Good dental habits are something the entire family should practice.
  • Orthodontics – If your child needs orthodontic treatment, regular check-ups will determine this quicker, which can decrease the treatment time.
  • Proper diet – Eating and drinking healthy foods will help keep your child's teeth and mouth healthy, while increasing the chance of overall good health.
  • Sealants – If your child is more prone to tooth decay, the dentist can apply a sealant to help prevent decay.
  • Fluoride treatment – Fluoride will provide your child's teeth with the treatment they need to remain strong and healthy.
  • Dental development – If your child's teeth begin to show any signs of trouble, preventive dental treatment will help ensure they develop normally and healthy.

Preventive dentistry will do more than just provide your child with a healthy smile. Your child will have healthy teeth, gums and mouth, which will make chewing easier and more natural so your child can get the nutrients their growing bodies need. Preventive dentistry can also prevent mouth disease, which can lead to health problems in other parts of their body. Preventive dentistry is also more cost effective because little problems will cost less to repair than serious problems left unchecked. It is always better to use preventative (pro-active) dentistry than reactive dentistry, which is reacting to a problem that is already there.

How can I help my child have healthy teeth in between their dental visits?
There are steps you can help your child take to keep their teeth as healthy as possible in between their dental visits. These include:

  • Teach your child to brush their teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste at least twice a day.
  • Avoid frequent snacking; but when they do snack, give them healthy snacks.
  • Encourage flossing at least once a day.
  • Always ensure they get proper fluoride from supplements, fluoride products and even the water they drink.
  • If needed, have your dentist apply sealants to prevent decay.
  • Make sure your child has regular dental check-ups.

Why are "baby teeth" important when they're just going to fall out?

Few people realize the importance of taking care of baby teeth. Baby teeth not only help your child to eat and speak correctly, but also play a role in the healthy development and growth of their face. The space they maintain allows the correct room for their permanent teeth to erupt. Proper dental care of baby teeth is also important to ensure your child does not suffer from gum disease and painful toothaches caused by decay. They may not last, but baby teeth should receive the same good dental treatment as permanent teeth.

Why is it a bad idea to put a baby to bed with a bottle?

It is not only a bad idea to put your baby to bed with a bottle, but it is also bad for their teeth when you nurse your baby to sleep. Saliva works as a cleaning mechanism; however, the production of saliva is decreased when they are sleeping. When the saliva is not present, the sugars from juice and milk coat the teeth, causing acid which can cause teeth to decay (known as baby bottle decay). Baby's teeth should be cleaned with a washcloth or soft-bristled tooth brush. If your child is in the habit of falling asleep with a bottle, consider un-sugared flavored water or plain water. 

How can I get my child to enjoy their dental visits?

The best way you can ensure your child enjoys their dental visits is by making sure they visit their dentist regularly so they can develop a friendly and fun relationship. By encouraging good dental health at a young age, you are also decreasing the chance of dental problems developing, which will make for a pain-free visit. Lastly, choose a dentist that knows and understands children and will do everything possible to ensure your child has a pleasant and fun experience every visit. This is why it is always a good idea to bring your child to All 4 Kids Pediatric Dentistry!