Below you will find answers to the questions we get asked the most. If you still have a question, please call our office.
A pediatric dentist is a trained dental professional who specializes in seeing children. It takes an additional two years of training after dental school to become a pediatric dentist. The training focuses on the different needs of children regarding not only their teeth but also the psychological and medical atmosphere. In addition to the common dental concerns, pediatric dentists are also trained in the hospital setting where patients can have serious long-term health conditions and have experience treating dental trauma. Unlike many general dentists, pediatric dentists usually have a reliable weekend and holiday on-call system for their patients because they are aware that accidents don’t always happen Monday through Friday from 8-5.
Pediatric dentists and pediatricians recommend that your child visit the dentist when the first tooth erupts or by the age of one. This visit usually consists of an examination and consultation by the dentist. We offer a well-baby dental exam to help your infant start on their path toward good oral hygiene and dental habits.
As soon as the first tooth erupts in an infant’s mouth, that tooth is susceptible to dental decay. Under certain conditions, decay can occur almost immediately. Luckily, proper diet and brushing can easily prevent cavities. This is why it’s so important to brush your baby’s teeth every day. If the sides of the teeth are touching together, you should also floss the teeth. Try to keep juice and soda intake to a minimum, and only let your child have sweets and candy on special occasions. Try to completely avoid giving your child fruit leathers or any sticky, sweet snacks. If needed, you can try the treat yourself first and see if it passes the sticky test. If you eat food and it gets stuck in your teeth such that you have to pick it out to remove it, it’s not good for your child. They tend to not be aware of this sensation and the sticky sweet material can stay stuck on the teeth for hours before it works itself free.
We understand the importance of knowing what your insurance will pay for your dental appointment. We make every effort to contact your insurance company prior to your child’s dental appointment to verify that the insurance is active and to collect specific coverage information. Dental insurance is vastly more complicated than medical insurance for a variety of reasons and there are literally tens of thousands of different insurance policies. We have a full-time insurance coordinator on staff to try to help you understand your benefits. However, until there is a centralized website that will allow us to verify coverage and benefits in real-time, we must have your insurance information well in advance of your appointment. We need at least 24 hours notice to thoroughly investigate coverage, although sometimes we can get to it much sooner. Please help us help you by giving us your accurate dental coverage information well in advance of your appointment.
Often parents of children with special needs do not take their child to the dentist for fear that the child will be unable to cooperate. Pediatric dentists have special training in helping all children get through a dental examination and fillings too if needed. At Austin Kids Teeth, we have a compassionate team that can provide dental care to children of all need levels. Give us a call if you have any concerns or questions.
For general information, The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) has an extensive list of FAQs available here. If you have specific questions about your child’s dental health give our office a call.
Parents should brush their child’s teeth until she is between 6 and 8 years old and offer help with brushing until she is 10-12 years old. To make toothbrushing easier, have your child lie on your lap to brush and floss. Use only a very small amount of toothpaste to minimize swallowing.
Usually, the first baby tooth emerges when your baby is six months old and the last molar comes in at age two. The first tooth is lost at age six on average, and the last baby tooth is lost at age twelve. These ages can vary significantly and still be considered normal.
Everyone knows that high-sugar items are bad for your health, and especially your teeth. It should be no surprise that fruits and vegetables are the healthiest snacks for your child’s body and teeth. Other good options are Goldfish crackers, dry cereal, sugarless gum, and beef jerky. Remember, if it’s sticky and sweet, it isn’t good for your teeth.