Frequently Asked Questions
Toothworks Pediatric Dentistry appreciates parents who stay informed about their child’s dental health and are committed to improving and maintaining the health of their family’s teeth and gums.
Dr. Harvey wants you to feel confident that you are receiving the most advanced pediatric dental services available to you and your family. To help you to better understand many of the procedures we use and the options available to your child, we have included numerous questions and answers below.
While our professional pediatric dental team is always available to answer your questions, these pages aim to introduce you to some common issues to educate you further about the prevention, maintenance and restoration of your child’s teeth.
Click on a question or topic below to learn more:
Also known as tooth decay or a cavity, dental caries is a disease where bacterial processes damage hard tooth structure (enamel).
Fluoride is an element which works in the remineralization process, helping your teeth to create stronger tooth enamel. It is important to get the proper dose of fluoride, as too little or too much can be bad for the teeth.
In general, there is not as much need to supplement a child for fluoride today as there was a decade ago because we now have many sources of fluoride. Besides toothpaste, other sources are fluoridated drinking water, like we have here in Michigan and processed foods produced with fluoridated water, such as juices and canned foods. Talk with your dentist about your child's fluoride sources to make sure they are getting the correct amount.
Brushing & Flossing
Parents should brush the teeth of infants, toddlers, preschoolers and help school age children with brushing their teeth until the age of 7 or 8. As a rule, until a child can tie his/her own shoe, they will need assistance in brushing their teeth!
The best times to brush are after breakfast and before bedtime. The best toothbrushes for children have soft round ended bristles that clean while being gentle on the gums. Along with brushing, parents should floss children's teeth. Flossing removes the plaque between teeth, where toothbrushes cannot reach.
Do You Accept Insurance?
Yes, we will be happy to call your insurance provider to obtain detailed verification of your benefits. We realize that dealing with insurance companies can be time-consuming, confusing and at time stressful. We make every attempt to make this process as easy as possible for you.
What Is The Best Toothpaste For My Child?
When choosing toothpaste for your child the most important thing to look for is the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance to ensure the product's safety and effectiveness. Use a small amount of toothpaste — about the size of pencil eraser or a green pea.
How old for a child's first dental visit?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) and the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that children see a dentist six months after the first tooth comes in and definitely by their first birthday. It is important to have this first dental visit for several reasons:
- Dental carries is the number one bacterial infection in children. For this reason, it is important to clean the teeth as soon as they erupt to disrupt the bacterial plaque development and reduce the amount of bacteria in your child's mouth.
- An early professional assessment of your child's oral health condition helps you to better plan for his/her future care.
- Early information about your child's dental care can better prepare you to:
- Clean your child's teeth properly.
- Decide which foods help or hurt your child's teeth.
- Take precautions to prevent dental trauma within your home.
- Take positive action if your child has a dental emergency.
- Understand the effects of oral habits such as thumb sucking and pacifier use.
We believe this appointment is important because being an informed parent is the best thing you can do for your child's dental health and providing you with this information is the best thing we can do for you!
Importance Of Continuing Care Appointments
Visits to the dentist for continuing care will help keep your child's gums and teeth healthy and the exams allow for early discovery of problems. Early detection usually means an easier solution!
About X-rays & Dental Radiographs
Radiography is the use of x-rays to view unseen hard-to-see objects or areas. It is a necessary part of your child's dental diognostic process. Radiographs are needed to detect dental decay, survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate the results of an injury and plan orthodontic treatment. With contemporary safeguards, such as high-speed film, digital enhancement, equipment filtering and proper shielding, the amount of radiation received in a dental x-ray examination is extremely low. Besides representing a standard for proper pediatric dental care, pediatric dentists use radiographs because they are much safer for your child than an undetected dental problem!
My child grinds his/her teeth at night
Teeth grinding, or bruxism, in children is not uncommon and is usually not related to stress as it is commonly for adults. For children, bruxism is typically related to the anatomy of the immature jaw joint and it typically ceases once the permanent teeth come in, or erupt and the jaw joint matures.
Why are primary teeth so important?
Primary teeth, sometimes called "baby teeth", are important to your child's health and development and should be cared for just as you would for permanent teeth. Primary teeth serve critical functiond as a child learns to eat and speak. They are important for the normal growth and development of the face.
In addition, they maintain space on the dental arch and guide the eruption of the permanent teeth. While some primary teeth are typically replaced around age 6, the back teeth (molars) can remain in until age 12 or 13. Without proper care, these teeth can decay and possibly cause toothaches, gum disease and serious health problems. For these reasons, primary teeth are significant and require good daily hygiene and regular professional attention, just like permanent teeth.
We recommend that parents continue to teach and reinforce good nutrition, including healthy snacking habits and good oral hygiene with their child. We strongly recommend that a parent continue to help their child brush and floss his/her teeth until they are 7 or 8. A good rule of thumb is that if your child cannot tie their own shoe, then they cannot do an adequate job brushing their own teeth. Continue to schedule and keep regular continuing care appointments or dental check-ups for your child every 6 months.
Sealing Out Decay
Sealants are used to protect the decay-prone areas of the back teeth and are possible the best preventive care measures that we can provide your child. Studies show that sealants can reduce caries in these permanent teeth by 70%. Sealants are easily applied and are quite durable, so ask your dentist if your child can benefit from sealants.