Children’s Dental Health FAQ

As your Mesa family dentist, we’re committed to ensuring a positive dental experience for your child. By partnering with parents to provide routine preventative care, we can help your child enjoy a healthy smile that lasts for years to come!

If you’re curious about your child’s oral health or have pediatric dentistry-specific questions, here are some of the most common FAQ we hear in our office.

At What Age Should My Child First Visit the Dentist?

Pediatric dentists, pediatricians, and the ADA all recommend that children see a dentist for their first checkup no later than their first birthday or whenever their first tooth erupts (whichever is earliest) and every six months thereafter.

Do Children Need Fillings if it’s in a Baby Tooth?

Cavities in baby teeth can easily spread into adjacent teeth as well as the developing adult tooth underneath. Since baby teeth are less dense, decay can spread more rapidly. It’s crucial to treat cavities in children as early as possible by cleaning out the decay and placing a small filling.

When Should My Child Receive an Orthodontic Consultation?

By age 7, most children have a healthy combination of primary (baby) and permanent (adult) teeth. We can evaluate their eruption patterns and oral bone development to determine whether any type of interceptive care is needed to correct growth patterns and tooth alignment.

children-dentist-mesa-arizonaIs My Child Old Enough to Brush Their Own Teeth?

Until your child can tie their own shoes, you’ll need to help them with brushing and flossing. It’s perfectly fine to encourage independence and allow your child to brush on their own, but just be sure to follow up behind them until they’re a little older.

What Toothpaste Should My Child Use?

Once your child gets their first tooth, switch from a training toothpaste to fluoride toothpaste and use a rice grain-sized smear on their toothbrush. When they get older and can rinse well, begin using a pea-sized dose. 

Does My Child Have a Tongue Tie? Lip Tie?

Lip ties and tongue ties can interfere with nursing, speech development, and swallowing. If your child has a tight strip of skin that’s restricting the movement of their lip or tongue, they may need a minimally-invasive procedure known as a frenectomy to correct it. 

Should My Child Wear a Sports Mouthguard?

If your child is involved in any type of extracurricular sporting activities where facial injuries or concussions may occur, they should be wearing a protective mouthguard. Professionally made appliances offer the best level of protection against broken teeth and concussions.

How Often Should My Child Visit the Dentist?

Schedule your child’s checkup every six months. By focusing on preventative care, we can keep visits positive and upbeat, instead of something they associate with pain (like emergencies or cavities.) Routine visits are the best way to avoid dental phobia in the future.

Which Toothbrush is Best for My Child?

Choose an age-appropriate toothbrush that’s small enough to fit around the tight curves of your child’s mouth. Check packaging for guidance. Once your child gets a little older, consider investing in an electric toothbrush to help them clean plaque away more efficiently. Some even have built-in timers to make sure they’re brushing long enough.

Why Does My Child Need X-rays?

Low-radiation digital X-rays allow us to assess your child’s tooth development and screen for cavities (among other signs of pathology.) They’re an essential piece of comprehensive dental exams, making it easier to intercept disease and irregularities as early as possible.

When are Dental Sealants Recommended?

We recommend protective sealants on permanent molars as soon as they’re erupted through the gum tissues. These teeth typically erupt around the ages of 6 and 12, respectively (however, it’s normal to fluctuate by a year or two, depending on the child.)

Can My Child Have Their Tooth Extracted if There is a Large Cavity?

You may be wondering, “If my child has a cavity in a baby tooth, it’s going to fall out anyway – why not extract it?” In short, because we need that baby tooth to be healthy and act as a placeholder to guide the developing adult tooth into the correct position. Premature tooth loss can lead to complex orthodontic concerns throughout the entire mouth.

Children’s Dentistry Mesa

Eastport Dental provides comprehensive family dentistry under one roof. For child-friendly care that everyone can enjoy, plan a trip to see Dr. Huynh. We love caving for children of all ages and backgrounds. Contact us today to reserve your family’s next appointment.

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