Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is pediatric dentistry?

A: Pediatric dentistry is professional dental care solely for children. Kids have unique needs and challenges when it comes to their teeth, gums, and other oral structures. A pediatric dentist has undergone two to three years of further training in children’s dentistry after dental school.

Some general and family dentists will see children as well as adults. However, these dentists have not specialized in dental care for children. Pediatric dentists dedicate years of training and study to treating only children.

Q: Are baby teeth important?

A: Although your child will eventually lose their baby teeth, these teeth are still very important. Healthy baby teeth lead to healthy adult teeth. Baby teeth provide proper positioning and spacing for the arrival of adult teeth. Furthermore, decay in baby teeth can be quite painful and lead to infections. Therefore, it is crucial to provide proper care for these teeth.

Q: When should I expect my child’s first teeth?

A: In most cases, a child’s first tooth will arrive by the time they are nine months old.Some babies may even get their first tooth as young as three months old.

Q: When should my child have their first dental visit?

A: We recommend, and the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD) agree, that all children visit a pediatric dentist by their first birthday. You may schedule a visit sooner with the arrival of your child’s first tooth if you desire.

Q: What causes bad breath?

A: Bad breath (halitosis) is usually caused by periodontal (gum) disease, and—in some cases—tooth decay. When bacteria cause gum inflammation, the gums begin to retract from the teeth. This action forms pockets where bacteria gather and an odor results as these pockets fill with bacteria. If you notice your child has bad breath, please schedule an appointment with us right away.

Q: What is periodontal disease?

A: Periodontal disease is often called gum disease, but this disease affects more than the gums. It is an infection of the gums and other tissues of the teeth. Periodontal disease is caused by bacterial growth and can have serious consequences. The results include bleeding and sore gums, gum retraction, the spread of infection, and tooth loss.

Q: What causes tooth decay?

A: When bacteria “eat” holes in the protective enamel of teeth, tooth decay is the result. When this happens, cavities form and can enlarge to the point where they threaten the entire tooth. Early tooth decay can be effectively addressed with fillings, while more advanced decay may require treatment with extractions, crowns, and pulpotomies.

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