1- At what age should my child first see a kids dentist?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends an examination accomplished by age 1. Their initiative call “Get it done by Year One” states the following about kids dental practices:
- Proper care for baby teeth is imperative as they serve several critical functions, including:
- Fostering good nutrition by permitting proper chewing
- Aiding speech development
- Helping proper development of permanent teeth by saving space for them
- The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recommend a dental visit for children by age one.
- Baby teeth are vulnerable to tooth decay from their very first appearance, on average between the ages of six and 12 months.
- The associative pain of tooth decay can prevent a child from eating correctly, impacting overall health and development. Additionally, undetected and untreated tooth decay can lead to infection, loss of teeth and expensive and mostly preventable emergency and restorative interventions.
- A scientific paper in the journal Pediatric Dentistry revealed that children who wait to have their first dental visit until age two or three are more likely to require restorative and emergency visits.
2- Why should I worry about my child’s “baby teeth”? Won’t they just fall out, anyway?
Yes they will fall out, HOWEVER, all pediatric dentists in Utah say baby teeth are important for several reasons:
- They are an important part of the smile and help children feel good about themselves.
- They help maintain good nutrition with proper chewing and eating.
- They are essential in speech development.
- Healthy baby teeth allow normal development of bone and muscle of jaws and act as “scaffolding” for the permanent teeth to erupt into the right place at the right time.
Early loss of primary teeth can ultimately lead to crooked teeth, space loss, and the need for braces. Decayed baby teeth can cause pain, abscesses, infections, and can spread to the permanent teeth. Take good care of them. They may not be the only teeth you’ll get but they’re the only teeth you have right now.
3-What causes cavities?
When you eat foods that are high in sugar and other carbohydrates, the bacteria that occurs naturally in your mouth will flourish. Failing to brush your teeth and avoiding regular trips to the dentist encourages bacteria growth, which eventually will destroy your tooth enamel and cause the teeth to decay.
According to the American Dental Association, cavities are holes in your tooth enamel caused by the dissolution of that material, often exposing the root of the teeth and causing considerable pain. Even if you don’t experience and discomfort, however, the decay won’t stop until you’ve had the cavity filled by a dentist. Cavities are also called “dental carries,” and are essentially the product of tooth decay.
4- Besides brushing and flossing, is there anything else I can do to prevent cavities?
Yes, Much more! The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry lists on their website the following:
- Cooked starches, such as pretzels and pasta, can lead to cavities just like sugar. More saliva, which washes away starches and sugars, is produced when eating a meal, so both are safer for teeth if eaten with a meal instead of a snack.
- Caregivers can pass germs that cause cavities from utensils, cups and other objects, so they should be washed thoroughly before sharing with children.
- Do not put your young child to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice, and in between meals, only serve older children water. When kids sip for extended periods on sugared beverages, they’re exposed to higher risk of decay.
- Don’t be afraid of chocolate milk. It provides protein, calcium and vitamins like white milk and washed off teethe the same. And since children like it, they often drink more.
- Since most bottled water does not contain fluoride, look for a brand with added fluoride since water with fluoride is the number one way to prevent tooth decay.
- Tooth decay can start as soon as a tooth appears, so children should see a dentist shortly after their first tooth or before the first birthday.
5- Is it OK for children to bleach their teeth? At what age can they start using whitening products?
Wait until he has all his permanent teeth (usually around age 12). “Otherwise, when his new adult teeth come in, they probably won’t match his bleached baby teeth,” says Kevin J Donly, D.D.S., a kids dentist expert in San Antonio and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Once he has his second set of teeth, OTC strips are a good option, though it takes a few weeks to see results. Overnight trays and in-office procedures, while effective, are more expensive and typically not covered by insurance. Whichever technique you choose, have him brush with a desensitizing toothpaste for two weeks before, so his teeth won’t sting or throb.
6- Do you take my insurance?
Most likely. We accept most health insurance programs including CHIP and Medicaid.