Pediatric Dentist: Common Parent Concerns and Questions
Taking your young child to the dentist can be scary – both for your child and for you. Though basic dental treatment isn’t painful, many people become nervous in the environment and scared when they look at the cleaning instruments. Even some adults are still afraid to go to the dentist! So it makes sense that parents would be worried about the kind of experience that their young children will have when they go to the dentist, and it makes sense that they would want to protect them.
Fortunately, many dentists are aware of these concerns, and most go out of their way to make sure that you and your children are put at ease when you bring them in for treatment. Going to a pediatric dentist in Glendale is essential since that dentist will have special training in the needs of children and how to make them feel more at ease.
Here are some common questions and concerns that we hear from parents about pediatric dentistry here in Arizona:
When Should I Start Bringing My Child in for Dental Care?
Some parents erroneously believe that children don’t need to see a dentist until they are in the first grade or so. After all, they just have baby teeth, which are going to fall out anyway. However, it is essential that you start bringing in your child as early as six months to a year old. A dental exam for kids is about more than just cleaning the teeth and gums – which is important even at those early stages – but is also about putting children at ease around the dentist and helping them get used to coming in for treatment early.
Children can still get cavities in their baby teeth also. Regular dental care in Glendale can help prevent cavities or to treat them in the early stages so that children don’t develop gum problems or other issues. The baby teeth also ensure proper growth of the jaw and permanent teeth, so caring for them is very important.
What Should Dental Care Look Like at Home?
You should begin dental care at home even before your child’s first tooth erupts. You should use a tiny amount of child-safe toothpaste on a wet cloth and rub it on your child’s gums with your finger. When the first tooth comes through, you can start using a soft toothbrush. Continue to brush your child’s teeth for him or to assist with brushing until they are 5 or older. Even when children can brush themselves, such as when they are 3, they are not able to properly clean their teeth.
Make sure that your child’s mouth is rinsed and that he does not swallow any toothpaste, even if it is child-friendly toothpaste.
When Should I Have My Child Start Flossing?
Children’s teeth often have a lot of gaps until they are older. You may not think that flossing is necessary since it doesn’t seem like there is anywhere for food to become trapped. But flossing can still be beneficial. Plus, it’s not always easy to see how close teeth are when they are in the back.
Start flossing when your children are young – even just 2 or 3. Use the child-friendly flossing sticks to help them, and let them start using the sticks and getting use to them.
Should I Get Sealants for My Child’s Teeth?
Some children are more prone to tooth decay than others, either because of diet or genetics. If your child has a history of tooth decay or your family does, you may want to consider getting your child teeth sealants, which provide a protective layer for the teeth. Sealants fill in some of the cracks or crevices in the teeth, which prevents food from getting stuck there and causing cavities.
If you are not able to get your child to a Glendale dentist regularly, sealants may also be able to help.
Are Dental X-Rays Safe?
Dental x-rays are very safe. They subject your child to less radiation than being in the sun for just 10 minutes. And, of course, protective measures are taken during the x-rays, including wearing a lead apron where needed. Digital radiography can also be used to minimize the amount of radiation used.
It is important that your child get x-rays so your dentist can identify cavities in the earliest stages. Treating cavities early can help prevent them from causing other dental problems.
My Child Won’t Need Braces Until Adolescence, Right?
Typically, braces are not required until children become teenagers. However, some children can need braces in Glendale as early as 9 or 10 years old. The only way to know for certain what treatment is needed is to continue to bring your child to the dentist for regularly scheduled appointments.
It is important that you discuss any questions or concerns you have about pediatric dentistry or at-home care directly with your dentist. Don’t let these concerns or misinformation keep you from getting your child the dental care that he needs.
Aesthetic Dentistry of Arrowhead offers complete pediatric dentistry services in Glendale, Arizona. We understand how scary it can be for children to see a dentist, and our staff takes all measures to make children and their parents as comfortable as possible. Whether you need to schedule a dental exam for kids or you need to discuss more intensive treatment like fillings or braces, we can help you. Call us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss your concerns.
17100 N 67th Ave, Suite 500
Glendale, Arizona 85308
Phone: (623) 979-1515
Fax: (623) 878-1811
Office Hours: Monday-Friday: 8am-5pm