What is a Pediatric Dentist?
Pediatric dentist is an oral surgeon and
dentist who is dedicated to the oral health of a child from infancy
through the teen years. She / He has the experience to care for a
childs teeth, gums, and mouth throughout the various stages of
What Types of Treatments Do Pediatric Dentists Provide?
Pediatric dentists provide comprehensive oral health care that includes:
- Preventive Dental Care -
including infant oral health examination, risk assessment for caries in
mother and child, cleaning and fluoride treatments, nutrition and diet
- Habit counseling (for example,
pacifier use and thumb sucking),
Orthodontic Services like early assessment and treatment for
straightening teeth and correcting an improper bite,
Tooth Repair including treatment of tooth cavities or defects,
Diagnosis of oral conditions associated with diseases such as diabetes,
congenital heart defect, asthma, hay fever, and attention deficit/
Management of gum diseases and conditions including ulcers, short
Care for dental injuries (for example, fractured, displaced, or
What should I use to clean my babys teeth?
Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small
head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used
at least once a day.
When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?
In order to prevent dental problems, your
child may see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears.
Are baby teeth really that important to my child?
Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do
they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in
forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to
How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?
A check-up every six months is recommended in
order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your
pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should
visit based on their personal oral health.
When should we begin using a toothpaste and how much should we use?
The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean
your childs gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. As
soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using
fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Use
a "smear" of toothpaste to brush the teeth of a child 2 years of age
and younger. For the 3-6 year old, dispense a "pea-size" amount of
toothpaste and perform or assist your childs toothbrushing. Remember
that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth
effectively. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste
What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?
The most important thing to do is to remain
calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather than the root and
try to reinsert it in the socket. If that is not possible, put the
tooth in a glass of milk and take your child and the glass immediately
to the pediatric dentist.
How can parents help prevent tooth decay?
Parents should take their children to the
dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then,
the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and
other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children.
These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a
balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.