Pediatric Dentistry FAQ
At what age should your child first visit a pediatric dentist?
Your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday. Don’t wait for all your children’s teeth to arrive. It is important to care for the teeth that appear first because they accommodate the rest of the teeth that erupt later. Your child’s first dental visit serves three purposes:
1. It enables the dentist to do a quick exam that insures proper development of the teeth and surrounding jaw structure.
2. The first visit will introduce your child to the dental experience, office, and office staff in a non-threatening way that will reduce future anxiety about going to the dentist.
3. It also serves as a way for the child to become familiar with the equipment and terminology to make future visits easier.
How often should you take your child to the dentist after their first visit?
We agree with the American Dental Association American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry that children should visit the dentist every six month after their first visit. If there are any other problems or concerns between visits, we encourage you to make an appointment for you child.
Do I stay with my child during their dental visit?
Parents remain with children throughout their visit.
If baby teeth fall out, why is it important for my child to see a pediatric dentist
Baby teeth play a vital role in your child’s development. They hold the place where adult teeth will eventually replace them. If baby teeth are allowed to decay, then malformations in your child’s adult teeth structure may occur and require further dental treatment in the future to repair.
What are sealants? Why are they needed?
Sealants are a plastic resin applied to the chewing surface of one’s teeth. Sometimes brushing and flossing alone cannot prevent bacteria from entering deep grooves that are part of the tooth’s natural topography. For molars, the teeth at the back of the mouth used for chewing, these grooves may be difficult to reach with a toothbrush. Therefore, it is recommended to use dental sealant to fill these fissures in the teeth. Within minutes, the resin hardens and prevents bacteria from forming plaque that would otherwise damage the teeth.
Why are radiographs required? Are they safe for my child?
Radiographs play an important role in preventative dentistry. By identifying early caries formations and tooth decay, a radiograph can save you and your child multiple trips to the dentist. Along with tooth structure, the health of gums can be assessed for periodontal disease. Intraoral and extraoral x-rays are harmless and take a few seconds to produce one radiograph.
At Tribeca North Dentistry we use digital radiography which reduces the amount exposure by up to two thirds compared to conventional film. Furthermore, we place a protective lead apron over your child’s body to insure that we are only exposing the oral cavity. The amount of exposure from a single series of radiographs or digital panoramic radiograph is negligible and perfectly safe for children.
What is Nitrous Oxide? Is it safe for my child?
Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is used as a sedation technique to keep children calm during treatment. A “space mask” is placed over the patient’s mouth and a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen work to ensure the patient stays relaxed. Nitrous oxide is good for children who are anxious about going to the dentist or who have trouble sitting still. To ensure the patient receives the proper pediatric dental care, the patient must remain still to allow the pediatric dentist to perform the necessary treatment.
Why does my child need a fluoride treatment?
Fluoride has been shown to effectively re-mineralize the teeth affected by tooth decay and cavity formation. Fluoride is included in nearly all major brands’ oral products and is especially important to maintaining oral health. For children under 3 years old brushing their teeth, apply a smear of toothpaste to the brush no larger than a grain of rice. For a child ages 3 to 6, a portion of toothpaste no larger than a pea should be applied.