Commonly Asked Questions

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

Not every pediatric dentist is certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD). But ALL of our dentists at Dentistry for Kids are Board Certified or Board Eligible.

Dentists who have obtained their ABPD Certification voluntarily maintain the highest standards of excellence in children’s oral health care. The certification represents a dentist who has successfully completed a Written Qualifying Exam ad an Oral Clinical Exam, achieving the highest level of accredited training and validating his/her knowledge and skills.

In order to maintain the status, certified pediatric dentists must renew their status annually.   Selecting a dentist who is ABPD Certified or Eligible ensures the highest standard of pediatric dental care for your child. 

Why are the Primary Teeth So Important?

Most children have 20 baby teeth, also known as primary teeth.  

The primary teeth serve many purposes including to help children bite and chew the food efficiently and permit normal development of the jaw bones and muscles. They also act as “place-holders” for the permanent teeth.  

If they fall out or need to be extracted before they are ready to fall out naturally, it can affect the way permanent teeth erupt later. The other teeth may drift to fill the space. This increases the chances of having orthodontic treatment in the future.  

Missing teeth can be associated with poor speech, social stresses and other habits.While the front 4 teeth last until 6-7 years of age, the back teeth (cuspids and molars) aren’t replaced until age 10-13.

Eruption of your Child’s Teeth

Children’s teeth begin forming before birth. As early as 4 months, the first primary (or baby) teeth to erupt through the gums are the lower central incisors, followed closely by the upper central incisors.

Although all 20 primary teeth usually appear by age 3, the pace and sequence of their eruption varies. Permanent teeth begin appearing around age 6, starting with the first molars and lower central incisors. This process continues until approximately age 21.

Dental Radiographs (X-Rays)

Radiographs (X-Rays) are important and a necessary part of your child’s dental exam.

Radiographs allow dentists to diagnose and treat health conditions that cannot be detected during a clinical examination. Radiographs detect much more than cavities. For example, radiographs may be needed to evaluate erupting teeth, assess the surrounding bone and jaws, and plan orthodontic treatment. If dental problems are found and treated early, dental care is more comfortable for your child and more affordable for you.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends radiographs and examinations every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay.

On average, most pediatric dentists request radiographs approximately once a year. 

Pediatric dentists are careful to minimize the exposure of their patients to radiation. With contemporary safeguards, the amount of radiation received in a dental X-ray examination is extremely small. The risk is negligible. High-speed film and proper shielding assure that your child receives a minimal amount of radiation exposure.

What’s The Best Toothpaste?

When looking for a toothpaste for your child, make sure to pick one that is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) as shown on the box and tube. These toothpastes have undergone testing to insure they are safe to use.

If your child is too young or unable to spit out toothpaste, use only a “small pea or rice size” amount of toothpaste.

What If An Adult Tooth is Coming In and the Baby Tooth is Still in the Mouth?

This is very common, especially the front lower incisors. If the baby teeth are loose, they may come out own their own within a few weeks.

If the baby teeth are not loose, your dentist may need to extract the baby teeth to allow the adult tooth to grow in its proper location. 

Why Do My Child’s Permanent Teeth Look More Yellow Than the Baby Teeth?

Permanent teeth normally have a more yellowish hue compared to baby “milk” teeth due to the thicker yellow middle dentin layer. This is healthy anatomy.  

Whitening or bleaching is not recommended on these new permanent teeth due to increased sensitivity that may occur.