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Posted by & filed under General Dental Articles, Oral Development, Teething.

At our pediatric dental office in Long Island, we believe in not only caring for our patients’ little smiles but also educating their parents on all things related to pediatric dentistry. We’re often asked questions by our patients or their families, and we welcome them always! Today we’d like to answer some of the questions we hear most often.

When Should a Child First See a Pediatric Dentist?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that kids experience their first dental appointment around the time they get their first tooth and no later than their first birthday. These early visits are important as they allow your pediatric dentist in Long Island to closely monitor tooth eruption and diagnose any potential concerns early. Additionally, getting your child to the dentist early can help them get comfortable with appointments and establish a lifetime of good dental care habits.

Are Baby Teeth Really That Important?

Many people think that since baby teeth aren’t permanent and they’re going to fall out anyway that they aren’t really that important. Quite the opposite is true. Baby teeth have many important duties that help children develop properly. These tiny teeth allow children to chew and eat a well-balanced diet, aid in proper speech development, and hold the place for permanent adult teeth. If baby teeth are lost before they’re ready, teeth can shift and may require additional dental work later in life.

When Should We Start Using Toothpaste?

Before you can see any teeth, gently wiping your child’s gums with a wet, soft cloth will help remove bacteria. Switch to toothpaste when you start to see the first tooth make an appearance. Choose a toothpaste with fluoride and use a small amount to brush your child’s teeth twice a day. As kids grow older, around ages 3 to 6, increase the amount of toothpaste to a pea-sized drop and keep helping them brush properly. Always have your child spit out the excess toothpaste and don’t let them swallow it.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe for Kids?

Dental x-rays are extremely safe, but they do still require radiation. However, the radiation exposure from dental x-rays is very small and therefore so are the potential side effects. The use of protective equipment such as a leaded apron further minimizes risk. Dental x-rays are incredibly helpful when looking at teeth as they allow us to see things that may not yet be visible to the naked eye, as well as into the jaw bone. The images produced from x-rays help us catch decay or other problems early when treatment is easier.   

If you have questions about pediatric dentistry, we’re here to help! Call our pediatric dental office in Long Island today to schedule an appointment. We’d be happy to see you!