When should my child first visit the dentist?

  • The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child be scheduled 6 months after the eruption of their first tooth or no later than their first birthday.

These appointments are important to:

  • Introduce your child to the dentist and ease anxiety for future dental visits.
  • Review preventive concepts which include diet and oral home care.
  • Evaluate growth and development of your child’s smile.
  • Identify cavities or those at high-risk for cavities early.

What’s the difference between a pediatric and family dentist?

  • A Pediatric Dentists specializes their practice and focus on treating infants through adolescence, including patients with special needs.
  • Dr. Mike completed a two year residency at one of the country’s most respected pediatric residency programs in Dallas, Texas and is board certified by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
  • Dr. Mike also spent two years on staff at Eglin Air Force Base as part of the Advanced Education of General Residency program where he instructed general dentists on pediatric dentistry.

When do teeth start to come in?

  • Most infants will get their first tooth around 6-9 months of age and will continue getting baby teeth until around age 2 or 3.
  • Most children will start getting permanent teeth between ages of 5-7 and will continue until around the age of 18 when the “wisdom teeth” begin to erupt.

Are dental X-rays safe?

  • X-rays are a critical tool for the diagnosis of cavities.  Dr. Mike and his team use high-speed digital x-rays and lead aprons to ensure safety and minimize the amount of radiation during x-rays.

What can I do to prevent cavities?

  • Early and regular visits
    • To quote Benjamin Franklin, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Early and regular visits to the dentist are essential to prevention and early detection of dental decay.
    • According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the child’s first visit should occur around the eruption of the first tooth.  At this time, Dr. Mike and his staff will review diet and recommend a specific dental program to keep your child’s teeth healthy and happy.
  • Healthy diet
    • 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.
  • Fluoride
    • Fluoride has been proven to be safe and effective in reducing cavities., however too much or too little fluoride can be detrimental to your child’s teeth.  Dr. Mike and his staff will review when a child should start using fluoride regularly as part of their oral home care program.
  • Sealants
    • Sealants are very effective in reducing the risk of cavities and are usually applied to the permanent teeth.
    • 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 often should my child visit a pediatric dentist?

  • A check-up every 6 months is typically recommended by Dr. Mike and his team. This is to help in preventing cavities and to check for any other dental problems.
  • Dr. Mike will determine how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.

What do I do if my child knocks out a permanent tooth?

  • Locate the tooth (if possible).
  • Handle tooth by the crown rather than the root.
  • Gently rinse tooth and reinsert into socket if possible.
  • If tooth can’t be reinserted, place it in Milk or saliva and seek immediate dental treatment.

Are baby teeth important?

  • Neglected cavities can cause pain and infection and lead to problems with the developing permanent teeth.
  • Some of the reasons “baby” teeth are important include:
    • Proper chewing and eating.
    • Providing space for permanent teeth.
    • Permitting normal development of the jaw bones and muscles.

Is thumb sucking or the pacifier really that bad?

  • Sucking is a natural reflex for infants and children. It may give them a sense of security at difficult times. Theses habits can change the bite or occlusion of your child teeth if they persist for extended periods of time.
  • Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still “sucking” past the age of 3, treatment may be recommended by your dentist.

How can I protect my child’s teeth during sports?

  • Soft mouth guards are important in protecting your child’s mouth.  A custom-fitted mouth guard may be recommended by Dr. Mike.  Always play safe and protect yourself.

How will I know if my child needs braces?

  • Early detection and treatment of developing problems may have significant short-term and long-term benefits.
  •  The American Association of Orthodontics recommends an evaluation as early as 7 years old.
  • At each dental visit, Dr. Mike will evaluate your child’s bite or occlusion and review growth and development as well as options for early treatment if recommended.

For additional questions and information, please refer to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.