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Parent FAQs

Parent FAQs

What You Need To Know

What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

A pediatric dentist has two or three years of specialized training after dental school, limiting his or her practice to pediatrics only. Pediatricians are those who primarily care for infants and children with special health needs through adolescence.

When should I first bring my child into the dentist?

An initial exam is recommended by your child’s first tooth or first birthday. This first exam can give both the dentist and the parent an opportunity to review some fundamentals of pediatric dental growth and development, check for cavities, and review some important preventative measures. Early detection and management of oral conditions can improve your child’s oral health and general health and well-being. Delaying treatment can sometimes result in more extensive and costly care.

What can I expect from the first visit?

In a friendly and non-threatening setting, your child can meet the dentist during this initial appointment. We will complete a facial and dental optical examination, observe your child’s behavior and may wish to request necessary x-rays to check areas that are not visible to the naked eye. This may mean waiting until our second visit to complete any cleanings or dental work your child needs. We may ask you to wait in the reception area for part of the visit to allow your child to bond with the dentist.

How should I prepare my child for their first visit?

When it comes to visiting the dentist, Children frequently have more classes than adults do. Avoid projecting any of your worries onto your child. Tell your child it’s a good thing they are going to the dentist and to just relax and be honest. You can even say: “The doctor will count your teeth”, and that it will be fun – we’re pretty sure it will be!

How often should I bring my child to the dentist?

Check-ups are usually required every six months to prevent cavities, look for cavities early, and catch any new dental problems However, we will recommend to you when and how often your child should visit based on their oral health.

Do you accept assignment or direct billing?

We will bill your insurance company directly and collect the balance from you (if any) at the time of treatment.

Why should we fix baby teeth if they are just going to fall out?

Your child will keep some of their primary or “baby” teeth until approximately 9 – 13 years old. Primary teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, but they also help develop a trajectory that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt in. Primary teeth can cause cavity pain and develop infection when untreated.

How often should I be brushing my child's teeth?

Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day, morning and before bed. The most important time to brush is before your baby goes to bed at night.

Toothpaste: When should we begin using it and how much should we use?

Brushing your teeth is one of the most important things you can do for good oral health. When looking for toothbrushes for your child, be sure to choose the one recommended by the Canadian Dental Association as indicated on the box and package. These toothpastes have been tested for safety.

Using a gentle baby toothbrush or cloth and water, clean your child’s gums from birth onward. Use a soft toothbrush that is age-appropriate and fluoridated toothpaste twice a day as soon as the teeth erupt. A child under two years old should have their teeth brushed with a “smear” of toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice. Give your child (or yourself) a “pea-sized” amount of toothpaste and brush their teeth (for patients ages 2 to 5) if they are able to spit. It is important to keep in mind that young children lack the necessary skills to properly clean their teeth. After brushing, kids should spit out excess toothpaste rather than ingest it.

Should I floss my child's teeth?

Even if your kids are still in the baby tooth stage, you should still be flossing their teeth. Cavities between teeth are common in children. Food particles and bacteria can accumulate in the spaces between teeth that brushing alone cannot effectively clean. Parents should start teaching their kids to floss every day as soon as their teeth begin to fit closely together, which is typically between the ages of two and six. You can assist them in learning to floss when their dexterity improves. Around the age of ten, children typically start to floss on their own.

What is a good diet for healthy teeth?
Healthy eating habits lead to healthy teeth. Like the rest of the body, the teeth, bones and the soft tissues of the mouth need a well-balanced diet.
Most snacks that children eat can lead to cavity formation. The more frequently a child snacks, the greater the chance for tooth decay. How long food remains in the mouth also plays a role. For example, hard candy, sticky foods and breath mints stay in the mouth for a long time, which cause longer acid attacks on tooth enamel. If your child must snack, choose nutritious foods such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese, which are healthier and better for children’s teeth.
Children should eat a variety of foods from the five major food groups. Most snacks that children eat can lead to cavity formation. The more frequently a child snacks, the greater the chance for tooth decay. How long food remains in the mouth also plays a role. For example, hard candy, sticky foods and breath mints stay in the mouth for a long time, which cause longer acid attacks on tooth enamel. If your child must snack, choose nutritious foods such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese, which are healthier and better for children’s teeth.
What is baby bottle tooth decay?
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (BBTD) is a devastating form of tooth decay that can rapidly destroy a child’s four upper front teeth and lower back teeth by the age of two or three. BBTD develops when the child’s bottle containing milk, juice or sugar-containing liquids is left in the child’s mouth for prolonged periods of time.
How can I prevent baby bottle tooth decay?
START EARLY with good feeding habits. The bottle should only be used at mealtimes, not as a pacifier during the day or night. Do not bottle feed your child soft drinks, fruit juices, gelatin waters or other sweetened drinks.
If your baby is currently taking a bottle during naps or at night, you should stop this habit immediately, provided the child is well and caregivers are prepared for two to three nights of crying which will end once the child adjusts to the new regimen. You can immediately quit giving your child a bottle at night or during naps or you can gradually wean them from this habit by diluting the contents of the bottle with water.
Are my child's teeth coming in at the right time?
All 20 primary teeth usually appear by age 3, however the pace and order of their eruption varies. The first baby teeth to erupt through the gums are usually the lower central incisors, followed closely by the upper central incisors. Most kids get their first baby teeth at about 6 months, though some get them earlier or later, which is perfectly normal. Some kids don’t get their first teeth until after their first birthday! Permanent teeth usually begin appearing around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors.
Why does my child grind their teeth? Should I be worried?
Parents are often concerned about the nocturnal grinding of teeth (bruxism). Often, the first indication is the noise created by the child grinding on their teeth during sleep, or you may notice wear or the teeth getting shorter. The majority of cases of pediatric bruxism do not require any treatment. The good news is most children outgrow bruxism. The grinding decreases between the ages 6-9 and children tend to stop grinding between ages 9-12. If you suspect bruxism, discuss this with your pediatric dentist.
What are sealants?
A sealant is a clear or white acrylic resin material that is applied to the chewing surfaces (grooves) of the back teeth (premolars and molars), where most cavities in children are found. This sealant acts as a barrier to food, plaque and acid, thus protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth. It is a simple, non-invasive, cost effective procedure that has been proven to greatly reduce the chance of pit and fissure cavities.