Dr. Conrad welcomes any questions you may have regarding your child’s oral health care needs. If your questions are not answered below, please don’t hesitate to call or email us. The information below is provided from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
CLICK HERE for some useful reading resources to help your child get acclimated to going to the dentist.
How can I prepare my child for their visit?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that all children are seen by a dentist no later than their first birthday. At your child’s first visit, a member of the Tweet Pediatric Dental Team will review your child’s oral health and discuss any concerns you may have.
Dr. Conrad and her team will clean your child’s teeth and check for normal development of the teeth and gums. Dental X-rays will be taken as necessary for diagnosis and evaluation. We explain these procedures to children as brushing, counting, and taking pictures of the teeth. Parents may accompany children into the treatment area. At times, it may be best for parents to remain in the waiting room, however, this will be determined based on your child’s individual needs. At the first visit, some topics that will be discussed include: oral hygiene, diet, pacifier use/thumb habits, eruption of teeth, spacing of teeth, and fluoride use.
If your child does have a dental concern requiring treatment, we will discuss the best options to successfully help your child complete their dental treatment.
HELPFUL TIPS BEFORE THE FIRST VISIT
Many parents are surprised to see their children have an enjoyable first visit to the dentist. Through special training and attention, we work hard to make your child’s visit to the dentist fun and positive experience.
When discussing the upcoming dental visit with your child, please use positive language and be relaxed when talking about this experience.
Please DO NOT use negative words such as: shot, drill, hurt, needle, or pull. Use of negative words will unnecessarily increase your child’s level of anxiety, and unintentionally create dental fears. We use specialized and gentle terms when describing the dental procedures to children and we have a great deal of experience in helping your child feel good about going to the dentist.
We take pride in having happy patients and confident parents who look forward to their visit to Tweet Pediatric Dentistry!
WHAT IF MY CHILD CRIES?
Parents often wonder what to do if their child cries. Crying is a normal reaction to the unknown and it is okay for children to be anxious about new situations. We are trained to help even the most fearful children through their dental experience. Your child’s positive reaction during their visit may surprise you!
What is the difference between a pediatric dentist an 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.
What should I use to clean my baby's teeth?
A toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime.
When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?
In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.
Are baby teeth really that important?
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.
What should I do if my child has a toothache?
First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Give the child acetaminophen for any pain, rather than placing aspirin on the teeth or gums. Finally, see a dentist as soon as possible.
Are thumbsucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child's teeth?
Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of three, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.
How can I prevent decay caused by nursing?
Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bed-time bottle. Also, learn the proper way to brush and floss your child’s teeth. Take your child to a pediatric dentist regularly to have his/her teeth and gums checked. The first dental visit should be scheduled by your child’s first birthday.
How often does my child need to see the pediatric 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.
When should my child begin using toothpaste and how much should they use?
The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Use a “smear” of toothpaste to brush the teeth of a child less than 2 years of age. For the 2-5 year old, dispense a “pea-size” amount of toothpaste and perform or assist your child’s toothbrushing. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.
How do I make my child's diet safe for their teeth?
Make sure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each of: fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat fish and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child’s teeth from decay. You can also ask your pediatric dentist to help you select foods that protect your children’s teeth.
How do dental sealants work?
Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth, causing cavities. The application is fast and comfortable and can effectively protect teeth for many years.
How do I know if my child is getting enough fluoride?
Have your pediatric dentist evaluate the fluoride level of your child’s primary source of drinking water. If your child is not getting enough fluoride internally through water (especially if the fluoride level is deficient or if your child drinks bottled water without fluoride), then your pediatric dentist may prescribe fluoride supplements.
What can I do to protect my child's teeth during sporting events?
Soft plastic mouthguards can be used to protect a child’s teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sport related injuries. A custom-fitted mouthguard developed by a pediatric dentist will protect your child from injuries to the teeth, face and even provide protection from severe injuries to the head.
What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?
The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the pediatric dentist.
How safe are dental x-rays?
There is very little risk in dental X-rays. Pediatric dentists are especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Lead aprons and high-speed film are used to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation.
How can parents help preent tooth decay?
Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.