Pediatric Dental Care

What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?
a pediatric dentist has two years of a specialty training following dental school.  They limit their practice to pediatric patients, infants to teens.  They are comfortable treating young patients with severe dental anxiety and those with special health needs.

When should my baby start to get teeth?
That age at which a baby erupts their first tooth is extremely variable.  Most children will erupt their lower front teeth first around the age of 6-8 months.

Are baby teeth really important to my child?
Baby teeth help children speak clearly, chew naturally, and also help guide the permanent teeth into their proper position.

When should I begin to use toothpaste, and how much?
As soon as the teeth begin to appear they should be cleaned with a wash cloth or soft brush.  Once they fully erupt, you should brush them twice a day using s very small smear of toothpaste.  For children 2-5 years old, a pea sized amount of toothpaste is appropriate.  Young children need their parents' help dispensing the toothpaste, as well as in brushing their teeth.

When should I bring my child to their first visit to the dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends a child go to the dentist around their first birthday.  Early examinations and preventative care can help your child maintain a healthy mouth and smile throughout their lifetime.

Are thumb habits and pacifiers harmful for a child's teeth?
Thumb and pacifier habits are normal for your children.  Most children will stop these habits all on their own at an early age.  A pacifier habit should be broken around the age of 18-24 months.  This is when the child's speech starts to develop.  A thumb habit should be addressed before the permanent teeth begin to erupt.  This typically happens at age five.

How can I prevent decay caused by nursing?
Avoid nursing a child to sleep.  Also learn how to properly brush and floss your child's teeth . Have your child's teeth checked by their first birthday.

What is the best way to prevent cavities?
Brush and floss with an ADA recommended fluoride toothpaste two times a day.  Avoid sugary drinks, like soda and juice.  Avoid frequent snacking and remember, "If it is sticky, it is icky for your teeth."

How do sealants work?
Sealants fill in the crevasses on the chewing surface of the molar.  They help prevent food from getting caught in the grooves, causing decay.  They are easily applied and can protect the teeth for many years.

Click here to go to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry for more information.