Parents Care Corner
Q. When should my child first see a dentist?
A: Early exams and preventative care are two ways to ensure your child’s dental health. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), a child’s first dentist visit should be by age 1.
Q. Why should I bring my child to the dentist so early?
A: A common problem in young children is Early Childhood Caries, known to be caused by bottle feeding and nursing. Children with healthy teeth learn to speak clearly and can chew food with ease. The earlier you start your child onto good dental habits, the more likely they are to continue these through adolescence. Ensure your child’s dental future by giving them a head start.
Q. Why are baby teeth so imporant when they are just going to fall out?
A: Baby teeth are important for (1) proper chewing and eating (2) providing space for permanent teeth and guiding them into their correct position (3) permmiting normal development of jaw bones and muscles.
Q. How can I prevent tooth decay from a bottle or nursing?
A: Encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday. Children should not fall asleep with a bottle. At-will nighttime breast-feeding should be avoided after the first primary (baby) teeth begins to erupt. Drinking juice from a bottle should be avoided. When juice is offered, it should be in a cup.
Q. Is there a right time to stop bottle feeding?
A: Weaning should begin around 12-14 months of age.
Q. Should I be worried about my child’s thumb sucking?
A: Sucking is a natural reflex that relaxes and comfort babies and toddlers. Typically, children stop between the ages of 2 and 4. The intensity and duration will determine whether or not dental or skeletal changes occur. Thumb and finger sucking that persists beyond the eruption of the permanent teeth can cause improper growth of the mouth and misalighment of the teeth. If you notice prolonged and/or vigorous thumb or finger sucking behavior in your child, talk to Dr. Jessica.
Q. Why should my child wear a mouthguard when playing sports?
A: Mouthguards can significantly reduce the incidence of dental trauma in children and adolescents who are active in sports. They help prevent dental and jaw injuries. Although stock mouthguards are readily available at sporting goods stores, they have several limitations. Custom made mouthguards are easy for our office to make, relatively inexpensive, comfortable to wear and allow your child to talk while wearing. Ask our staff fo fruther information about custom made mouthguards for your child.
Q. Why does my child need dental x-rays?
A: Radiographs (x-rays) are a necessary part of your child’s dental diagnostic process. WIthouth them, certain cavities will be missed. They also help survey devleoping teeth, evaluate results of an injury, or plan for orthodontic treatement. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable for your child, and more affordable for you.
According to estabilished guidelines of the AAPD, we are committed to utilizing the lowest level of radiation to adequately diagnose your child’s dental condition. WIth contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental x-ray examinations is extremely small. In fact, the radiographs represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem. Aprons will be used to protect your child.
Our digital equipment restricts the beam to the area of interest, minimizing your child’s exposure to radiation and provides a minimal dose of radiation. In fact, there is more daily background radiation exposure compared to digital dental x-rays and more radiation exposure in a 1 hour airplane flight compared to digital dental xrays. See our chart:
Q. Why is Fluoride necessary?
A: The advantages of fluoride have been studied and proven since the 1940s! Fluoride helps teeth because: it inhibits demineralization of teeth (the break down), promotes remineralization, is antibacterial, reduces acid solubility (a byproduct from bacteria in the mouth). We will help guide you to using the proper amount of fluoride at home and in the office to prevent caries and prevent tooth discolorations.
Q: What are Sealants?
A: Sealants are a tooth colored adhesive coating that is applied to the biting surfaces of the teeth to help prevent cavities. They are most commonly applied to the permanent molars because these teeth have many surface grooves and pits that are difficult to clean and are often susceptible to getting cavities. Sealants are most effective if accompanied by good brushing and flossing and a healthy diet.
It is important to remember that only a professional can properly diagnose any medical issue your child may be experiencing. Please call us today and see how Dr. Jessica Rubin and Capital Kids Dentistry can help your child grow and maintain a healthy smile for life!