Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose a pediatric dentist?
Pediatric dentists specialize in treating the unique needs of children. They have two to three additional years of training to learn more about treating children. They also focus more attention on educating patients and parents about preventative care to help children avoid complications such as tooth decay, infection, speech problems, and cosmetic issues.
How often should my child see a pediatric dentist?
A check-up every six months is recommended in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, due to some circumstances, you make need to be seen more frequently, in which, your pediatric dentist would tell you how often visits should be.
When should I schedule my child’s first dental appointment?
A child should visit the dentist within six months of the first tooth eruption or by their first birthday. Early preventive care and establishing a dental home will maintain a child’s oral health and smile and also help establish trust and a positive attitude toward dental visits.
Are baby teeth important to my child?
Primary, or “baby” teeth are important to help children speak clearly and chew naturally. They also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.
When should you start using toothpaste, and how much to use?
The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or clean washcloth and water. Parents should use a very tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice) for children age 1-3 years old and a pea-size amount for children 3-6 years old. Brushing twice daily with an age-appropriate size toothbrush is encouraged. You will need to brush for your child until they have the dexterity to brush effectively for themselves (usually when they can tie their shoes or write in cursive).
How can parents help prevent tooth decay?
Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of their first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help establish a lifetime of healthy habits for your child.
What is fluoride and how can I tell if my child is getting enough?
When used appropriately, fluoride is both safe and effective in preventing and controlling dental caries. Fluoride is a mineral that is found naturally in water and many foods. Fluoride helps the tooth’s outer surface, the enamel, stay strong and fight against the acids that cause cavities and tooth decay. Decisions concerning the administration of fluoride are based on the unique needs of each patient, including the risks and benefits. A pediatric dentist checks to see if your child needs fluoride treatments during their dental visit. We make sure the health of your child’s teeth and gums meet with American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry standards.
What should I do if my child has a toothache?
See a dentist as soon as possible. Tylenol will help with inflammatory symptoms, but your child will need to be examined by a dentist to determine the source of the problem and create a plan of action.
What should I do if my child has a toothache?
See a dentist as soon as possible. Tylenol will help with inflammatory symptoms, but your child will need to be examined by a dentist to determine the source of the problem and create a plan of action.
What is enamel hypoplasia?
Enamel hypoplasia is a defect in tooth enamel that results in poor quality and/or quantity of enamel as a tooth is developing. The defect can be a small discoloration or defect in the tooth, or it can affect the whole tooth. The discoloration can range from white, to yellow, to brown in color and often gives the tooth a rough or pitted appearance. Enamel hypoplasia can affect a single tooth or multiple teeth and can cause teeth to be hypersensitive to chewing and hot and cold sensations. These teeth are often of cosmetic concerns and are often more susceptible to dental cavities.
What happens if my child has a dental emergency?
The most important thing to remember is to stay calm. If there is loss of consciousness, trauma to the head, uncontrolled bleeding or several other injuries, please call 911.

If trauma is localized to the mouth, have all the facts about the incident and medical history handy. Use a sterile gauze/cotton to stop bleeding and call the office as soon as possible.
If a baby tooth is knocked out, do not attempt to put it back in the socket.

If a permanent tooth is knocked out, gently rinse with clean water without scrubbing the tooth. Hold the tooth from the crown part (the top of the tooth) and if possible, safely replace the tooth in the socket. Otherwise, place the tooth in cold milk, patient’s saliva or clean water and bring it along to the office immediately. If the tooth is fractured, then also bring in any pieces you can find.

Any injured child will be seen before other children regardless of appointment time. If your appointment gets delayed due to an emergency during your child’s appointment, your patience will be appreciated. Do accept our apologies in advance.

What are dental x-rays and when should my child have them taken?
We’ll evaluate your child’s need for X-rays around 2 to 3 years of age. Often, at this stage, X-rays consist of simple pictures of the front , lower, and back teeth. How often your child will need X-rays will be determined by his/her risk of cavities.
Can my child’s nutrition play a role in his/her oral health?
Absolutely. Make sure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving each of fruits and vegetables, breads and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat, fish and eggs. Limiting the frequency of servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child’s teeth from decay. Avoid frequent sipping on drinks that are high in sugar, including juice, energy drinks, soda, and chocolate milk in a baby bottle, “sippy” cup, or re-sealable bottle

Special customized diet instructions may be recommended for children with special health care needs.

How can I prepare my child for their dental visits?
If you have a positive attitude, chances are that your child will as well. If you dread going to the dentist, your child will likely pick up that same attitude.

We don’t want ANYONE to dread going to the dentist! That’s why we make our environment as relaxing and fun as possible.

Are thumb sucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child’s teeth?
Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but we strongly encourage these habits discontinue by age three. There are many ways to help children discontinue these habits including our personal favorite, positive reinforcement.

AAPD Guidelines

At Maverick Smiles, we follow the evidence-based guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

To read these guidelines click here →

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