Frequently asked questions
If you have questions about the importance of pediatric dentistry, please look over the answers below or contact us today!
Pediatric dentists are essentially dentists who have had extra training (usually 2–3 years) after dental school. Through their specialty training, pediatric dentists focus on providing care specifically for infants, children and individuals with special health needs.
One common question we hear is “Why can’t we just let the baby teeth fall out if they have cavities on them.”
- Baby teeth are vital for speaking and chewing effectively. They are also very important for a child’s self esteem. If a child has a noticeable dark cavity on their front tooth, other kids may start teasing him/her.
- Baby teeth serve as vital “space holders” for the permanent teeth that will replace them.
- If baby teeth are lost early due to tooth decay, this may alter the path of eruption of the permanent tooth successor, leading to necessary orthodontic treatment in the future.
The AAPD recommends seeing a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears or no later than his/her first birthday.
AAPD recommends at-will breast feeding to be stopped after the eruption of the first baby tooth. Kids should not be given a bottle of milk or juice in bed, and juice should only be offered, diluted, at meal times.
Start cleaning/wiping down your baby’s teeth with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. You can start doing this before your baby even has teeth. Just start wiping down their gums.
As soon as teeth erupt, use a smear of fluoridated toothpaste. From 2–5 years, use a pea-size amount of fluoridated toothpaste.
Sucking on fingers and pacifiers is completely normal behavior for babies and young children. Most children stop sucking their thumb or pacifier between 2–4 years old. Beyond that age, adverse effects can occur:
- tipping of upper front teeth toward the lip
- other aspects of the bite are affected
- palate constriction
If your child is older than 3 years old, ask your pediatric dentist to give you tips to discourage the habit of thumb or pacifier sucking.