Your comfort is our first priority

We want you and your child to feel as comfortable as possible when you arrive at Kids Choice Dental. Below are some of our most frequently asked questions so you can be informed before you arrive at our office.

Since dental health is so important, the first time your child sees a dentist, he or she will be assessed to see how well a dental exam will be tolerated. Some children fear dentists because they have heard others complain about toothaches, or maybe an older sibling or a friend said something that caused them to be afraid. At our facility, we will talk with and observe your child to determine if he or she is ready to have an initial exam and cleaning, or whether another visit is needed to allay the child’s fears. Ideally, the child comes in and feels at ease. We work hard to provide a calm environment for all of our patients. Parents can prepare their young children by using only positive, encouraging words when describing what the child should expect.

If your child’s primary teeth are coming in normally, you should schedule a visit sometime between six to ten month so that any potential problems or concerns can be addressed. The general consensus among dental professionals is that all children should be seen at around one year of age, at the latest.

As soon as your child’s first tooth comes in you can begin to brush. Buy a small, soft toothbrush and carefully clean the tooth every night. You may want to use toothpaste specially formulated for infant oral care, or you may decide to use just water. The brushing action, which removes plaque, is the most important aspect of oral care at this stage.

If your child’s teeth are healthy, you should schedule dental appointments twice a year for your child from the time his or her first tooth appears. Some adults only visit their dentist once each year, but children grow quickly and they should be seen more often, to prevent any potential issues from becoming more serious, and so the dentist can monitor and deal with any orthodontic problems or other concerns.

It might be comforting to young children to use a bottle to go to sleep, but it is definitely not healthy for the child if he or she has even just a single tooth. The sugars in formula and breast milk remain in the child’s mouth for several hours, and these sugars can cause tooth enamel to weaken, and cavities can then form. The only liquid that should be in a nighttime bottle should be plain water.

Both pacifiers and thumb-sucking for an extended period of time can interfere with the normal growth and development of a child’s teeth. If the child outgrows the pacifier habit or stops sucking his or her thumb by the age of two or three, there should be no permanent damage, but your dentist will be able to make that determination. It is not easy to wean a child, but if he or she continues this habit any longer than that, serious jaw problems can result, or your child may develop speech problems. The child could develop an overbite or under bite from excessive thumb-sucking or pacifier use.

Dental exams do not always reveal every problem that occurs, so sometimes your dentist will need to take an x-ray of your child’s mouth and jaw. The latest technology in x-ray design and effective lead shields means that your child is exposed to much less radiation than in the past, and for a shorter amount of time. Every precaution is taken to minimize radiation exposure during x-rays.

Since teeth have ridges and grooves, food often becomes trapped on the surfaces and is not always completely removed by brushing. The molars in particular can become decayed if food particles remain on the teeth. Dental sealant is clear plastic that the dentist applies in a very thin layer and it keeps the teeth protected for years.

Even with the most comprehensive oral care and regular dental check-ups, some teeth are more prone to decay. Since people eat and drink throughout the day, it is nearly impossible to keep bacteria off of the teeth. Bacteria creates plaque, which sticks to the teeth and this plaque, along with acid from sweet foods, snacks and drinks, weakens tooth enamel and is the main cause of cavity formation.

The first step should be to rinse the child’s mouth with water or salt water. Make sure the water is room-temperature or warmer, never cold. Then gently brush and floss the affected area to see if a piece of food is causing the pain. If the toothache persists, give the child some pain reliever. A cold pack applied to the outside of the cheek where the swelling is should help. Call your dentist if the pain does not go away by the next day or if there is a fever, or swelling that does not subside. The child could have a cracked or broken tooth or may need treatment for a badly decayed tooth.

There are soft plastic toys available to help relieve the pain of teething. If you buy the teething toys that are filled with liquid, you can freeze them and then give one to your baby. The cold toy usually brings fast relief when your child bites down on it. Replace with another cold toy as needed. In cases where a teething ring or toy does not seem to help, you can buy drops or gel that has been made to ease teething pain.

Fluoride has been shown to help strengthen tooth enamel. If your water has fluoride added, you should not need to use fluoride drops, but you should check to be sure that your child does not get too much fluoride from other sources, including toothpaste, formula and other liquids. Excessive amounts of fluoride can damage teeth. The daily recommended amount of fluoride for children under three is .25 milligrams.

When a permanent tooth is knocked out, your dentist may be able to be re-implant it, but teeth cannot be allowed to dry out, or the chances of being able to save the tooth are greatly reduced. Call your dentist immediately and keep the tooth wet by storing it in milk or in the patient’s mouth. If a baby tooth is knocked out, call your dentist to see if you need to take your child in for an exam.