FAQs: Asked & Answered

Our team expertly answers your pediatric dentistry questions.

Our Frequently Asked Questions
Knowledge is power and helps you feel confident when making decisions. The following will hopefully answer any questions you may have.
  • When should my child see a dentist?

    By your child’s first tooth or first birthday. Even though your baby’s first teeth are temporary, getting an early start on excellent dental hygiene practices will help your child enjoy good oral health for life.

  • Why is fluoride important for my child’s oral health?

    Fluoride aids in the prevention of dental cavities and can even remineralize early cavities. Fluoride in our water, toothpaste, as well as fluoride treatments, will give your child an edge on maintaining a bright smile!

  • What's the difference between a pediatric dentist and a general dentist?

    Pediatric dentists continue their education following dental school, where they focus on becoming specialists in treating children. Following graduation from a pediatric residency, pediatric dentists are proficient in providing specialized dental care, behavior management, and safe sedation techniques. Pediatric dentists like Dr. Matt Bright LOVE working with children!

  • Are baby teeth that important?

    Your child’s first set of teeth is very important! They aid in speech, eating, and creating a healthy natural path for their adult teeth. Also, your child’s smile plays a significant role in developing their self-esteem.

  • What should I do as an expectant mother?

    Just as you would visit potential pediatricians to find that perfect fit to care for your newborn, pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. Our office is happy to consult with you prior to the arrival of your newborn and offer you advice on planning for dental care.

  • Are dental x-rays safe for my child?

    Dental x-rays have a very low risk. Pediatric dentists are especially careful when prescribing dental x-rays to prevent excess radiation when it is not needed.

  • How frequently should my child see a pediatric dentist?

    It is recommended that your child see a pediatric dentist every six months to prevent future decay and other dental problems.

  • What should I use to clean my child's teeth?

    Once your child has their first tooth, you can immediately begin brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. Until the age of two, they only need a “grain of rice” amount of toothpaste on their brush. Then once they turn two, they can have a “pea” size.

  • How can I, as a parent, prevent my child from suffering from dental decay?

    Preventing cavities in your child is a team effort between you, your child, and their pediatric dentist. Paying close attention to what they eat (avoiding as much as possible sugary snacks and drinks) and making sure they have a clean mouth is a great start. Having regular check-ups every six months with our children’s dentists will keep their teeth healthy and on the right path to a bright future!

Dental Care by Age
Dr. Bright answers your questions.
  • What can I expect when my child is 0–2 years?

    You can expect your baby’s teeth to begin erupting between six months to one year of age. Even before their teeth erupt, you can start cleaning the gums with a warm washcloth.

    Once a tooth erupts, you can start brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled infant toothbrush and just a dab of fluoridated children’s toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice).

    Once a child turns two, you can use a “pea-sized” smear of fluoridated toothpaste. Make sure never to put your child to sleep with a bottle of milk or formula, as this can lead to early childhood tooth decay!

    The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry…Opens a new window to the AAPD website… recommends that your child see a pediatric dentist no later than their first birthday. This will give Dr. Bright the opportunity to educate you on home oral hygiene and provide dietary counseling that can help your child avoid cavities.

    We’ll discuss dental milestones to expect as your child grows and their needs change. Establishing a dental relationship early on will allow your child to become more comfortable in the clinic setting.

  • What can I expect when my child is 3–5 years?

    By the age of three, your child should have all twenty of their baby teeth!

    At this stage, kids may want to brush their own teeth. However, they still need your help.

    Remember to clean with fluoridated children’s toothpaste twice a day and limit sugary snacks and juices as much as possible.

    If your child has a habit such as thumb-sucking or pacifier use, it may be time to talk with Dr. Bright about ways to help your child give up the habit to avoid bite problems.

  • What can I expect when my child is 6–11 years?

    Start saving now because around the age of six, the “Tooth Fairy” will start making multiple visits to your home!

    You can expect your child to begin losing the upper and lower incisors around this time. The adult molars will begin appearing just behind their primary molars.

    This is a great time to talk with Dr. Bright about dental sealants, which are recommended at this age. Sealants are an effective way to prevent cavities in adult molars.

  • What can I expect when my child is 12-18 years?

    By the time your child becomes a teenager, you can expect them to have all of their adult teeth.

    With all of the other changes associated with becoming a teenager, you’ll see diet and habit changes as well. Without being able to constantly monitor what your child may be eating throughout the day, and when they brush, adolescent cavities can become a real risk.

    Dr. Bright can help keep your teen cavity-free and also help identify bite problems that need to be addressed by an orthodontist.

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