A Quick FAQ Session On Pediatric Dentistry

WE GET A LOT OF patients and parents of patients asking us the same questions about kids’ dental health, so we’re rounding up a few of the most common questions we hear and providing the answers in an FAQ! If these questions have been burning in your mind, we’ve got your answers here!


When Is The Right Time For A Child’s First Dental Appointment?

A child can benefit from a dentist as soon as their first tooth appears! That’s why we recommend bringing them to see us around six months old (and no later than their first birthday). The earlier you bring them in, the more advice we can offer on taking care of incoming baby teeth and managing those difficult teething periods.

How Important Is It To Keep Baby Teeth Healthy?

If our kids are just going to lose their baby teeth in a few years anyway, does it really matter if they get cavities? A lot of parents think this way, but that’s something we discourage. Just because baby teeth are temporary doesn’t mean they’re not important. Baby teeth are essential for chewing food, learning to speak clearly, and mastering lifelong dental health habits like brushing and flossing. They also guide the adult teeth into place!


What Can I Do If My Child Gets A Toothache?

A good way to soothe the ache is to have your child swish (but not swallow) some warm saltwater. You can also apply a cold compress to their face and give them children’s Tylenol (to ingest, not as a topical treatment). These should all be temporary measures until you can bring them in to see us.


How Bad Are Thumbsucking And Pacifiers For My Child’s Teeth?

They aren’t bad at all — at first. These habits can become an oral health concern in time if they continue them beyond age three, but most children grow out of them on their own. After age three, it’s time to start thinking about strategies for discouraging the habit. If you’d like suggestions, we can help with that.


What’s The Right Amount Of Toothpaste For Brushing My Child’s Teeth?

It’s important not to use too much toothpaste when brushing a young child’s teeth because that can lead to fluorosis (discoloration) in the incoming adult teeth. All you need is a tiny smear of toothpaste when brushing a baby’s or toddler’s teeth, and a dab the size of a pea is enough for ages 3-6. Also, make sure you’re encouraging them to spit it out instead of swallowing!


What’s The Difference Between My General Dentist And A Pediatric Dentist?

There are many specialties in dentistry, and pediatric dentistry is one of them. Pediatric dentists go through an additional two to three years of training after dental school to learn everything they need to know to specialize in dental health concerns unique to babies, children, and teenagers. Many pediatric dentists work from child-friendly spaces and are trained to accommodate all types of children. We can help refer your child to a pediatric dentist if needed!


Did We Miss Your Question?

If your biggest questions about pediatric dentistry weren’t on our list, don’t hesitate to ask us anyway! We want all parents to be as educated as possible on children’s dental health concerns so that they can give their kids the best chance at lifelong healthy smiles!


We love all of our patients!


A young boy sees his pediatric dentist


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The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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