FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions in the field of pediatric dentistry.

What Should I Do In A Dental Emergency?

First, make sure the child hasn’t bumped their head in whatever injury or situation caused the emergency. If they are acting disoriented or off, you should visit an urgent care facility before coming to the dentist in case there is a concussion. This is also true if there are lacerations that may need stitches.

If a tooth has been knocked out, put it in milk within 30 minutes and get to the dentist as quickly as possible. The milk will help preserve the root so the tooth can be re-attached.

If the tooth is broken, moved, or crooked, visit a pediatrician first.

Please call our office emergency line if you require immediate assistance.

What Is A Pediatric Dentist?

A pediatric dentist works exclusively with patients under the age of 18 and is specialized in both relating to patients of younger areas and in caring for the types of oral health matters common to children and adolescents. This is an additional certification beyond that base doctorate of dentistry. We recommend a child begin seeing a pediatric dentist as soon as the baby teeth start coming in (6-8 months of age).

Why Are the Primary Teeth Important?

A common viewpoint over the years is that the maintenance of primary teeth, or baby teeth, is not important since they’re going to fall out anyway.

We urge you to think differently about this, since allowing primary teeth to wear and decay can still create avoidable issues. The health of primary teeth is important for the ability to properly chew food, to ensure the permanent teeth eventually come in properly aligned, and to promote proper development of jaw bones and muscles.

What Are Dental Radiographs and How Do They Work?

A dental radiograph is an x-ray that gives dentists a solid diagnosis of a patient’s oral health. Beyond detecting cavities, dental radiographs can also provide insight into when teeth are about to erupt through the gumline, whether they’re coming in straight, and whether the roots of teeth are solid and in good health.

It’s also important to note that modern technology and techniques mean that these x-rays expose patients to minimal amounts of radiation compared to before.

Why Is Thumb Sucking Harmful Past A Certain Age?

Thumb sucking is a natural reflex for infants, which is why pacifiers are popular as an alternative. It’s not a problem at that stage of a child’s development and promotes a sense of comfort and security to infants. Children usually stop doing this by the time their permanent teeth start coming in. However, if thumb sucking continues past that point it can negatively affect how the teeth align.

What Is Pulp Therapy?

A tooth’s pulp is the inner core that contains nerves, blood vessels, and reparative cells. Simply put, it helps keep the tooth healthy. Dental cavities and traumatic impact (such as sports collisions) can damage the tooth’s pulp. Pulp therapy, often referred to as “children’s root canal” either removes the diseased portion pulp tissue or removes the entirety of the pulp, depending on severity.

What Happens If Adult Teeth Start Coming in Behind Baby Teeth?

This is more common than you may think. Often this is the result of a permanent tooth deciding to start growing in before the baby tooth has gotten loose enough to fall out on its own. Usually if your child wiggles the baby tooth it will fall out on its own in about 2 months. If it doesn’t schedule an appointment with us and we can easily remove it. Once the baby tooth is out the permanent tooth should slide properly into place.

When Will My Baby Start Getting Teeth?

The teething process varies from baby to baby. However, most babies begin teething between the age of 6-8 months. Some babies even begin teething at 4 months of age! By age 3 most children have all 20 primary teeth, though the order in which those teeth erupt varies. Permanent teeth usually start coming in at age 6, progressing until age 21.