As parents, we want the best for our children; we want them to be happy, healthy, and active. We also want them to retain their pearly whites and adorable smile throughout life, which means maintaining healthy teeth and gums. While regular brushing and flossing are the first line of defense for your baby’s teeth, regular dental checkup visits can go a long way in keeping your child protected from cavities and other dental problems--and ensuring that they maintain good oral health throughout life.
At Urbana Pediatric Dentistry, we understand that parents have lots of questions regarding their child’s oral health, and it is perfectly normal to be concerned about your child’s health and well-being; that is why we have compiled a list of essential questions that parents frequently ask pediatric dentists, which have been answered by our dentist Dr. Dina Chehab.
1. Why Do Baby Teeth Matter?
Some parents think that since baby teeth will ultimately be replaced with permanent teeth, it is not as important to look after baby teeth. This is a common but incorrect assumption. Your child’s milk teeth help them learn to eat and speak. Besides, the deciduous teeth (deciduous teeth — also known as baby teeth, primary teeth, or milk teeth — are your first teeth) are “placeholders” for the permanent teeth; if they are lost prematurely, the neighboring teeth drift into the vacant space and prevent the underlying permanent ones from erupting. Therefore, parents must take good care of their child’s baby teeth.
2. When Should I Bring my Child for their First Checkup?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, parents should schedule their child’s first dental visit before their first birthday. This ensures that any underlying problems with your child’s teeth and overall oral health can be diagnosed well before they can cause any damage. It also helps your child become familiar and comfortable with the dental office’s environment from an early age.
3. What Can I Expect During my Child’s First Checkup Appointment?
The goal of your child’s first dental visit is to assess their oral health status and detect any underlying issues. Dr. Dina at Urbana Pediatric Dentistry has extensive experience and training in treating pediatric patients, even the uncooperative and apprehensive ones. During your child’s first appointment, Dr. Dinia will examine their teeth and gums and advise home oral care.
4. How Often Should I Schedule Pediatric Dentist Appointments for My Child?
At Urbana Pediatric Dentistry, we firmly believe in detecting and treating dental problems well before they can become a problem for your child’s teeth and gums. That is why Dr. Dina recommends scheduling your child’s checkup appointments every six months. This will help us keep your child’s teeth and gums stay healthy.
5. How Does a Pediatric Dentist Differ from a General or Family Dentist?
A general or family dentist is trained to look after the oral health needs of family members of all ages. On the other hand, a pediatric dentist undergoes an additional three or four years of specialized clinical training to provide exclusive dental preventive and therapeutic treatment to pediatric patients - from their infancy to adolescence. Pediatric dentists are also trained in treating extremely apprehensive or uncooperative children. At Urbana Pediatric Dental, we have custom-designed our office in a way that makes the kids feel comfortable and relaxed during their visit.
6. Are Dental X-rays Safe for My Child?
Too much of anything isn't a good idea and the same rule applies for x-rays. However, there is no harm in taking x-rays of teeth, when necessary. At Urbana Pediatric Dentistry, we follow all the safety precautions and guidelines that protect your child and our staff from unnecessary radiation exposure. Besides, we use digital x-ray technology, which is much safer and also provides better detail and image quality. So yes, dental x-rays are safe for your child.
7. Are Dental Sealants Beneficial for My Child’s Teeth?
Dental sealants are thin coats of resin-based materials that we apply to the teeth to prevent cavities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), school children without dental sealants are three times more at risk of developing cavities. That is why we recommend dental sealants for children with permanent teeth who are at high risk of developing dental cavities.
8. My Child Sucks Their Thumbs; What Should I Do?
Parafunctional habits like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting can cause your child’s teeth to appear crooked and misaligned, besides causing other functional problems. If you feel that your child has developed bad teeth habits, don’t worry. Dr. Dina will teach you various techniques that can help your child get rid of these habits. However, it is crucial to identify these habits as early as possible and seek professional help before it affects their teeth and oral health.
Your child’s good oral health is not just essential for having pearly white teeth and healthy pink gums but is equally critical in ensuring good overall health and well-being. That is why the importance of oral hygiene maintenance and regular dental checkups cannot be understated. So, start early and bring your child for a checkup at Urbana Pediatric Dentistry before their first birthday and let us ensure they retain their pearly whites throughout life!
If you have any additional questions about your child's oral hygiene, please feel free to contact us at Urbana Pediatric Dentistry. To learn more about Urbana Pediatric Dentistry visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to Contact Us and follow us on social media on Instagram @urbanapediatricdentistry and Facebook @urbanapediatricdentistry.