Why Does My Child Need to See a Pediatric Dentist?

Does my child need to be seen by a pediatric dentist?

The answer is not so simple. Many dentists do treat children, but they may or may not have the additional time and experience necessary to provide ideal dental treatment for the young patients. Pediatric dentists are specially trained with additional years of training which gives them the ability to address problems particular to children. At hellosmile all our Dr’s are either pediatric dentists or general dentist that have had extensive experience in treating children’s dental needs. Dr. Attaie serves as our chief Kids Dentist and personally reviews each Dr’s qualifications and experience. He also regularly meets with our Dr’s to assure they are aware of the latest and best approaches in treating children’s oral health needs. Not only our Dr’s but our entire team is specifically trained in the hellosmile way: to make children feel calm, happy, and excited about their smile. We focus on a team approach and our offices are designed with you and your children in mind. The sooner children begin getting regular dental checkups, the more likely that they will have a healthy smile will throughout their lives. Early checkups with a Dr. and team that is well experienced in treating children can help prevent tooth decay.

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When should I take my child to the dentist?

The ideal time is six months after your child’s first tooth erupts or by their first bday. At hellosmile we carefully examine the development of your child’s mouth. Oral health problems often start early, so the sooner the visit occurs, the better. Also, at hellosmile we recommend special preventive care to safeguard against problems, such as baby bottle tooth decay, teething irritations, and thumb-sucking and provide you with personalized anticipatory guidance on common trauma, home care, and diet issues for you baby.

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How do I prepare my child and myself for the first visit?

Before the visit, ask the dentist what procedures will be performed so there are no surprises. Plan a course of action to manage your child’s reaction to the visit. Some children may be non-cooperative. Talk to your child about what to expect and build excitement as well as understanding about the upcoming visit. Bring your child’s medical records to help you complete the medical history forms before the appointment. Of course do not ever use the visit to the dentist as a threat.

When will my child lose his/her baby teeth?

Kids will begin losing their teeth at approximately age 4. They will usually lose their front teeth first. Children will continue to lose baby teeth until age 12 or 13 when all of the permanent teeth finally erupt.

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Why is it important to fix baby teeth that have decay?

Primary teeth (also known as baby teeth or milk teeth) are in a child’s mouth from late infancy to early teens. Primary teeth are smaller and have thinner walls than adult teeth (also known as permanent teeth). The are more susceptible to developing tooth decay and when cavities do develop in primary teeth, it more quickly leads to pain, trouble concentrating and other medical issues such as abscess that can spread to the face and facial bones. Youngsters with healthy smile will chew food better, learn to speak clearly and smile with confidence.It is also important to maintain baby teeth because these teeth hold space for the future eruption of permanent teeth. If a primary tooth is decayed severely or is removed prematurely (before its natural age of exfoliation), the space necessary for the permanent tooth is lost. This lost space can only be regained through orthodontic care. In addition, infected primary teeth also can cause permanent teeth to develop improperly, resulting in permanent enamel defects and weaker teeth.

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How can kids prevent damage to their teeth?

At school, it is important to educate kids to rinse their mouth with water after meals, leaving their teeth free of sugar and acid. At home, it is all about encouraging children to drink tap or fountain water after every meal. We don’t recommend soda or sugary drinks but if and when a child does take such drinks, it is much better to use a straw  to keep sugar away from teeth. When purchasing bottled water, be sure that it is fluoridated.

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