Pediatric FAQ

When should my child be seen for their first visit?

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. This appointment is a great opportunity for parents to ask questions concerning their child’s dental care. A check-up is generally recommended every six months after age one.

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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 designed specifically for infants should be used twice a day.

Are baby teeth really that important to my child?

Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. Primary teeth 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 safe are dental x-rays?

There is very little risk in dental X-rays if used at appropriate time intervals. The dentist is especially careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. Only digital films are used at Cahill Dental Care to minimize the amount of radiation.

Toothpaste: when should we start using it and how much should we use?

Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth with water. Parents should use a tiny smear of training (fluoride free) toothpaste to brush baby teeth twice daily as soon as they erupt with an age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively, they require assistance from an adult. A small (pea sized) amount of fluoride toothpaste can be used as soon as a child can spit effectively. Children should always spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing.

How do I make my child’s diet safe for his 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. The bacteria that reside in the oral cavity will produce acid from carbohydrates in your child’s diet. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will aid in protecting your child’s teeth from acid breakdown (dental decay).

When should my child see an orthodontist?

The dentist will assess your child’s growth and development at each visit.

As your child ages, referral to an orthodontist may be needed to evaluate changes in their bite or teeth alignment.

If we believe your child would benefit from orthodontic care, we will refer them to an appropriate specialist for an evaluation.