Frequently Asked Pediatric Dental Questions – Towson, MD
You Asked, We Answered!
As parents, you want the best for your child’s smile. It’s natural to have questions about how we operate, what you can do to improve their teeth and gums at home, and how you can implement positive oral hygiene habits. Dr. Roxanne and our team believe in equipping parents with as much beneficial information as possible about children’s dentistry, which is why we’ve compiled some common questions listed below for you to review. Don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any additional questions or concerns.
What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist?
While all licensed dentists are required to obtain a Doctor of Dental Medicine or Doctor of Dental Surgery from an accredited four-year university, those who choose to specialize in pediatric dentistry must spend an additional two- or three years taking courses and training to work with a younger demographic. As specialists, pediatric dentists understand and treat the development of a child’s smile as they grow from infants to adolescents.
Why are primary teeth important?
Also referred to as “baby teeth,” these pearly whites begin coming in when a child is around the age of 6 months to one year old. These teeth make it possible for little ones to eat and speak with greater ease, and they serve as placeholders for permanent teeth. By ensuring the health of these teeth, you can ensure your child’s jawbone, facial muscles, and other oral structures develop correctly.
What can I do to prevent cavities at home?
As soon as your child’s first tooth erupts, you can begin using a soft finger brush to clean it. From there, as more teeth move into place, you can begin to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a smear of toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice). As they grow older, you can incorporate fluoridated toothpaste that is the size of a pea as well as flossing.
While oral hygiene is essential, you should also make sure they’re eating a healthy diet and consuming fewer sugars and starches. You’ll also want to make sure to keep their regular six-month dental checkups and cleanings.
What should I do if my child experiences a dental emergency?
You’ll want to call our pediatric dental office right away and alert us to the problem. After explaining their symptoms and the situation, we will determine if a same-day appointment is necessary. While waiting for your child’s scheduled visit, we’ll make sure you have the instructions needed to manage their pain while at home as well as prevent additional injury to their already vulnerable smile.
The only time you should take them to the local emergency room as opposed to our children's dental office is if bleeding does not stop within 10 minutes, the swelling continues to increase, or they’ve broken or fractured their jaw.
Will my child be required to receive dental x-rays?
It depends. If your child needs dental X-rays, yes, we will take them during their appointment; however, this may not be necessary every time. If your child is fearful, we will attempt to calm them down or hold off until the next appointment. We always want to make sure our patients feel comfortable and at ease no matter the technology or equipment we use.
But it is important to realize that these digital images make it possible for us to see beneath the gumline, which is vital to providing proper diagnoses and treatment.