flowerWhat is a pediatric dentist?

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians on dentistry! A pediatric dentist receives two to three years of additional specialty training following four years of dental school. Pediatric dentists provide primary and specialty oral care for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.

When does my child need their first exam?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that children make their first visit to the dentist around the age of their first birthday. Early education and preventive dental care are the most important factors in establishing a lifelong healthy smile.

How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a check up every six months to prevent cavities and other dental problems. If there are any problems or concerns, Dr. Jamie will let you know if your child will require more frequent visits.

What will happen during my child’s exam?

At every exam we will review your child’s health history, and take note of any changes in medications, allergies, or hospitalizations.

Our team will clean your child’s teeth, floss, and then perform a fluoride treatment. We will take the necessary x-rays to aid in our exam of your child. Dr. Jamie will provide a thorough clinical exam of your child’s mouth including teeth, tongue, gums and palate. As part of each exam, a review of diet and oral hygiene tailored to your child is performed. After every examination, we provide parents with essential information about your child’s dental health:

  • An assessment of your child's risk for decay;
  • An evaluation of your child's soft tissues and gums;
  • An evaluation of your child's bite and dental growth; and
  • An assessment of your child's oral health as it pertains to his or her overall health including suggestions about nutrition.

Are dental x-rays safe?

Yes. Radiographs (x-rays) are a vital and necessary part of your child’s dental diagnostic process. Without x-rays, certain dental conditions can and will be missed because they cannot be seen solely by visual examination. We use only digital x-rays, in which the radiation is significantly lowered compared to traditional x-ray machines.

Dental radiographs represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem!

Are baby teeth really that important to my child? Won’t they just fall out?

Yes, all baby teeth do typically fall out. However, they have a very big role until that day arrives. Baby teeth help children speak clearly and chew naturally, and they form the path that permanent teeth tend to follow as they begin to erupt. If a baby tooth gets a cavity, this decay can spread through the primary tooth and infect surrounding teeth, including the permanent teeth. Dental decay should not be ignored and should be treated as early as possible.

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 past the age of three, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.

When should I introduce toothpaste into my child’s daily routine?

The sooner the better! Starting at birth, start to clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. Young children who are unable to rinse and spit on their own can brush with a fluoride-free training toothpaste. As your child develops more oral coordination and control, they can use a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste twice each day. Beyond that, our team counsels parents on recommendations regarding fluoridated toothpaste as your child gets older and develops more oral coordination and control.

Do I need to floss my child’s teeth?

YES. It’s always important to clean between teeth, as this is an area where dental diseases frequently develop. For young children, hand-held flossers are adequate to clean between their teeth where a toothbrush does not reach.

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

We would need to evaluate the fluoride level of your child’s primary source of drinking water. If the fluoride level is deficient, Dr. Jamie may prescribe fluoride supplements, but only after reviewing any potential sources of fluoride your child is exposed to.

Why do you want to know about my child’s diet?

Healthy eating habits lead to healthy teeth. The more frequently a child snacks, the greater the chances are for tooth decay. When your child eats between meals, choose nutritious foods such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese. Avoid sticky candy and other foods high in processed sugar or corn syrup. If you have a child who chews gum, make sure it is sugarless!

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

First of all, stay calm, and try to find the tooth. Only handle the crown, avoid touching the root, and attempt to reinsert the tooth in the socket. If you’re unable to do so, put the tooth in cold milk, and bring your child and the milk containing the tooth to our office.

As a parent, am I allowed to accompany my child during his visit?

Dr. Jamie absolutely welcomes parents into the back during their children’s visits. However, some children do prefer to have their parents wait in our waiting room. We are truly open to whichever option best fits your family’s needs!


Growing Smiles Pediatric Dentistry is here to answer any questions you may have! Contact Our Office
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