Pediatric Dentistry FAQ’s

Our dentists have provided answers to a range of frequently asked questions about pediatric dental care. From the time you should start taking your child to the dentist to what you can do to prevent him or her from developing tooth decay, we give you answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

What age should my child have his or her first dental visit?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), children should visit a pediatric dentist by their first birthday or within 6 months of their first erupted tooth.

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

A pediatric dentist pursues an additional 2 to 3 years of advanced training beyond dental school in treating infants, children, and special needs patients through to adolescence.

How frequently does my child need to visit the pediatric dentist?

In order to maintain good oral health, a child should visit his or her pediatric dentist every six months.

When should my child begin using toothpaste and how much should be used?

A child should begin using toothpaste as soon as possible under the supervision of an adult. Children should spit and not swallow toothpaste. For infants, use a small cloth with water to clean around the gums and, if teeth are present, to apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Are pacifiers and thumbsucking habits harmful for my child’s teeth?

Pacifiers and thumbsucking habits are harmful for a child’s teeth only if the habit continues for a prolonged period or when permanent teeth begin to erupt.

What are dental sealants and how do they work?

Sealants are white protective coatings used to help prevent decay on the chewing surfaces of back teeth.

Is fluoride safe and how do I know if my child is getting enough?

Fluoride is safe. A pediatric dentist can determine if your drinking water contains fluoride or not and may prescribe fluoride supplements.

What can I do to help prevent tooth decay for my child?

Taking your child to a dentist every six months will help prevent tooth decay. The dental team can provide nutritional guidance, as well as review and reinforce oral health care techniques such as proper brushing and flossing.

Are dental X-rays safe for my child?

Dental x-rays are safe and pose very minimal risks. Preventative measures are used to minimize these risks with the use of a lead apron and digital radiography.