Dental FAQs for Kids
As a parent, your child’s health and wellbeing are of the utmost importance. This includes their dental health. Gallatin Valley Pediatric Dentistry understands that you might have many questions regarding how to help your child maintain a healthy, cavity-free smile. We have compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive so that you can get the answers you need.
What Is the Difference Between a Pediatric and a General Dentist?
Both general and pediatric dentists are the main go-to for dental care. The biggest difference is that pediatric dentists specialize in providing dental care for children, from infancy through adolescence. We can provide the unique care that children need so that their smile is healthy and develops properly. Both Dr. Justin and Dr. Joni are parents themselves and have a substantial amount of experience talking with children, helping them through their emotions, and helping to ease their anxieties.
When Should I Schedule My Child’s First Dental Appointment?
It is recommended that children have their first appointment 6 months following the eruption of their first baby tooth or around their first birthday, whichever occurs first.
Are Baby Teeth That Important?
Yes. Baby teeth are incredibly important for many reasons. They help your child chew everything they eat so that they can digest their food properly. This allows their body to absorb all of the nutrients from everything they eat. They help your child develop proper speech patterns. They also act as placeholders so that their adult teeth can erupt into their proper positions.
How Can I Help My Child Prevent Cavities?
There are many ways to help your child prevent cavities. First, help your child brush their teeth twice a day and visit the dentist regularly. Avoid letting young children sleep with bottles of milk or juice. Prevent saliva sharing, such as sharing utensils, food, or toothbrushes. This can pass bacteria between you and your child. Provide your child with plenty of healthy snacks, such as crunchy fruits and vegetables. You can also help to prevent cavities by limiting sugary snacks and juices.
How Much Toothpaste Does My Child Need?
Children under the age of 3 should be using a small smear of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. Children over three can use a pea-sized amount.
Are Pacifier or Thumb Sucking Habits Dangerous?
Many young children suck their thumbs or use a pacifier. The sucking reflex is perfectly natural and can provide your child with comfort. For very young children, these habits are not detrimental. Most children stop these habits on their own between the ages of 2 and 4. After the age of 2 or 3, thumb sucking and pacifiers can begin to impact oral development, which can lead to alignment issues such as an open bite. If you are having trouble helping your child to stop sucking their thumb, we can help.
What Do I Do in the Event of a Dental Emergency?
First, stay calm and help your child to remain calm as well. Some dental emergencies can be handled from home. If your child has cracked a tooth, lost a tooth, or the tooth has been displaced, call the office right away. Provide your child with an ice pack and a children’s pain reliever if necessary. If you suspect a serious injury, such as a broken jaw, take your child to the emergency room.
Does My Child Need Dental X-Rays?
Dental x-rays are an important component of helping us provide your child with optimal care. They help us to spot many different issues we might not otherwise be able to see. Your pediatric dentist will recommend radiographs based on your child's unique needs. The radiographs will assess growth and development, pathology and tooth decay.
If you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to ask. Call Gallatin Valley Pediatric Dentistry at 406-224-4272 today for more information.