Dental Health FAQ’s

Why is visiting the dentist so important for my child?

Visiting the dentist regularly will not only help keep your child’s teeth and mouth healthy, but will also help keep the rest of their body healthy, too. Dental care is important because it:

  • Helps prevent tooth decay
  • Prevents bad breath – brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist regularly will help reduce the amount of bad-breath causing bacteria
  • Helps ensure your child has a life long attractive smile — increasing their self-confidence
  • Helps keep your child’s teeth looking bright by preventing them from becoming stained by food, and drinks.
  • Strengthens your child’s teeth so that they can enjoy healthy, beautiful smiles for the rest of their life!

My child’s teeth seem fine. Do they still need to see a dentist?

Your child’s teeth may seem fine, but it’s still important for them to see the dentist regularly because problems can exist without you knowing. Your child’s first visit to the dentist should happen before his or her first birthday. The general rule is six months after eruption of the first tooth. Taking your child to the dentist at a young age is the best way to prevent problems such as tooth decay, and can help parents learn how to clean their child’s teeth and identify his or her fluoride needs. After all, decay can occur as soon as teeth appear. Bringing your child to the dentist early often leads to a lifetime of good oral care habits and acclimates your child to the dental office, thereby reducing anxiety and fear, which will make for plenty of stress-free visits in the future.

What should I look for when choosing the right dentist for me?

Choosing a dentist who “clicks” with you and your family is important, and you may wish to consider several dentists before making your final decision. During your first visit, you should be able to determine whether the dentist is right for you. During your appointment, consider the following:

  • Is the appointment schedule convenient?
  • Is the office easy to get to and close by?
  • Does the office appear to be clean and orderly?
  • Was your medical and dental history recorded and placed in a permanent file?
  • Does the dentist explain techniques for good oral health?
  • Is information about cost presented to you before treatment is scheduled?
  • Is your dentist a member of the ADA (American Dental Association)?

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

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.

Are baby teeth really that important to my child?

Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.

How can I take care of my child’s teeth between dental checkups?

  • Even before your baby starts teething, run a clean, damp washcloth over the gums to clear away harmful bacteria.
  • Once your baby gets teeth, brush them with an infant toothbrush. Use water and a tiny bit of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice). Use fluoride toothpaste that carries the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of acceptance. (If you are using baby toothpaste without the fluoride, keep it to the same amount because you still want to minimize any toothpaste that is swallowed.)
  • Once your baby’s teeth touch, you can begin flossing in between them.
  • Around age 2, your child should learn to spit while brushing. Avoid giving your child water to swish and spit because this might make swallowing toothpaste more likely.
  • Kids ages 3 and up should use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Always supervise kids younger than 6 while brushing, as they are more likely to swallow toothpaste.Even babies can develop tooth decay if good feeding habits aren’t practiced. Putting a baby to sleep with a bottle might be convenient, but can harm the baby’s teeth. When the sugars from juice or milk remain on a baby’s teeth for hours, they can eat away at the enamel, creating a condition known as bottle mouth. Pocked, pitted, or discolored front teeth are signs of bottle mouth. Kids with severe cases might develop cavities and need all of their front teeth pulled (permanent teeth will grow in later).Parents and childcare providers should help young kids set specific times for drinking each day because sucking on a bottle throughout the day can be equally damaging to young teeth. Babies as young as 6 months are encouraged to switch from a bottle to a sippy cup (with a straw or hard spout). By 12 months of age, they’ll have the motor skills and coordination to use the cup on their own.

At what age should I start taking my child to see the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children first see a dentist as early as six-months-old and no later than one-year-old. During this time, your child’s baby teeth will be coming in and your dentist can examine the health of your child’s first few teeth. After the first visit, be sure to schedule regular checkups every six months.

How often should my child see the dentist?

A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.

What is a cavity?

A cavity is a small hole that forms inside the tooth because of tooth decay. Cavities are formed when plaque buildup on the outside of the tooth combines with sugars and starches in the food you eat. This produces an acid that can eat away the enamel on your tooth. If a cavity is left untreated, it can lead to more serious oral health problems. Cavities can be prevented by remembering to brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss between teeth at least once.

What is a filling?

A filling is a synthetic material that your dentist uses to fill a cavity after all of the tooth decay has been removed. Fillings do not generally hurt because your dentist will numb your mouth with an anesthetic. We are pleased to offer tooth colored fillings at our office.  f you need a filling, be sure to talk to your doctor about what type is best for you and your teeth.

When should I change my child’s toothbrush?

Toothbrushes will eventually wear out, especially if you are brushing your child’s teeth twice a day for two to three minutes each time. Your dentist recommends that children change their toothbrush every three months. If you are using an electric toothbrush, be sure to read the directions because you may not need to change toothbrush heads as frequently. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with hot water to kill germs and keep the bristles clean. If your child has been sick, be sure to change their toothbrush as soon as possible.

If my child has braces, do they still need dental checkups every six months?

Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. With braces, food may be caught in places that a toothbrush can’t reach. This causes bacteria to build up and can lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your child’s dentist will work closely with your orthodontist to make sure that your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

How do I schedule my next checkup?

Scheduling your next appointment with us is easy!  We offer several different ways to schedule so that you can choose the method that is most convenient for you.

CALL: Simply call us at (607) 953-4445.
EMAIL: Email us at info@DinoDental.com.