Pediatric Dentistry FAQs

FAQs for Pedodontics

What is a pediatric dentist?

A pediatric dentist is a dental specialist who has completed a two or three year residency program. A pediatric dentist specializes in treating infants and children, and their practice is limited to children through their adolescence. They also receive training in treating children with special needs.

When should I first take my child to the dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child first see a dentist at one year. At this visit, we will discuss how to best care for your growing child’s teeth including brushing and home care, fluoride, habits and trauma. In addition, the dentist will individually evaluate your child and answer any specific questions.

Can I accompany my child into the treatment area during his visit?

Some parents find that their child has a more successful visit if they remain in the waiting room and allow the dentists and staff to develop a rapport with their child without dividing their attention between the staff and parents.  Other parents, especially of very young patients, find it comforting to both themselves and the child to join in the visit.  You know your child best, and we would appreciate your input as how to best treat your child.  On your first visit, parents are allowed to accompany their child(ren) into our treatment area.  Following this visit, the dentist will create a plan with you that best suits you and your child.  With a child under the age of three, we mostly prefer you stay with your child.

If you accompany your child, we ask that you be a silent observer, and allow the dentist and our highly trained staff the opportunity to communicate directly with your child and guide him/her through the appointment.  In either case, the doctor will discuss your child’s treatment personally with you, and you may ask any questions about your child’s dental care at any time.

What if my child cries during his visit?

While we strive for every visit to be completely positive, there are times when a child may react with fear or even tears.  Be assured that we will do everything possible to comfort him, and we always react with empathy.  We will ALWAYS make every effort to end each visit on a positive note and use positive feedback with your child.

What will happen at my child’s first visit?

At a Well Baby Visit( below the age of three), an exam will be performed and you will be counseled on brushing, diet & fluoride, along with any other questions answered.  At the first visit, your child’s teeth will be examined and cleaned, and x-rays will be taken if deemed necessary.  Doing only these things at a first visit helps maintain a positive experience for your child.  If a cavity or other problem is detected, we will work to schedule another appointment to treat this problem.  If your child is in pain, emergency treatment can be performed in order to get them out of pain.

How can I tell if my child is getting enough fluoride?

In our area, most water systems have fluoridated water.  If you have concerns or have well water, we can assist you in getting your water checked for fluoride levels. We recommend that children brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste, so long as they are able to appropriately “spit” it out and not swallow large amounts of toothpaste.

Do you offer sedation for anxious children?

As Pediatric Dentists, we are specifically trained to treat your child in a way that best suits their age and needs.  We offer Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas), and light or conscious sedation using oral medication to treat an apprehensive child in the office.  We also have a dental anesthesiologist on staff. This gives us the option to treat your child utilizing i.v. sedation or general anesthesia, addressing all of their dental needs at once. Please feel free to ask about any of these options for your child.

Do you offer Orthodontic Care?

As Pediatric Dentists we are specially trained to evaluate and follow your child’s growth and development and we can treat minor orthodontic problems.  For your child’s more comprehensive orthodontic needs, we are fortunate to have an excellent orthodontist in our practice.  Together, combining our specialties, we are prepared to provide quality care to meet your child’s individual needs.

What if my child has a dental emergency after hours or on the weekend?

Please call our dental office any time you have a dental emergency.  If the office is closed, you will hear a recorded message with instructions for contacting the dentist on call.