Frequently Asked Questions

A first-time patient to Blue Coral Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics may have a lot of questions, as they may be unfamiliar with the process and what to expect. Parents may want to know what the recommended ages are for a child’s first dental visit, how often they should bring their child in for check-ups and cleanings, and what types of treatments are available for common dental issues seen in children. They may also be curious about how to prepare their child for the visit and how to help them feel comfortable and relaxed during the appointment. These are all valid questions and the Blue Coral Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics team will be more than happy to answer all your questions.

Below are a few frequently asked questions we get from first-time patients.

What is a pediatric dentist and how is their training different from a ge neral dentist?

A pediatric dentist is a dental professional who specializes in the oral health care of infants, children, and adolescents. They have completed an additional two to three years of training beyond dental school, specifically focused on the unique needs of children. This training includes topics such as child psychology, growth and development, and treatment of children with special needs. Blue Coral Dentistry’s pediatric dentist is equipped to handle the unique dental needs of children, including preventive care, treatment of cavities, and orthodontic care.

When will my baby’s first tooth appear?

Your baby’s first teeth will start to appear in the 6 to 12-month range. While this is an extraordinary milestone, you need to be aware that your baby may find the experience a little bit uncomfortable. Teething can make them feel irritable. They may be fussy, have trouble sleeping, not want to eat and be drooling quite a bit. While you are powerless to speed up the process of teething, there are a few things that you can do to soothe your baby as its new teeth are erupting into place. Common approaches to helping your baby feel more comfortable while getting their new teeth to include teething rings or a cold spoon or moist gauze rubbed over their gums. Even for these few new teeth, it is important to establish an oral healthcare regimen for your baby. For information on when your baby’s first set of teeth will erupt into place, consult this timeline from the American Dental Association.

My child is starting kindergarten and still sucking their thumb. Will this habit affect their new teeth?

Some children persist in sucking their thumbs or fingers beyond their preschool years. For these children, the activity continues to be a source of comfort, relaxation, and security. It may even help them fall asleep at night. However, it is important as parents to be aware that if your child’s thumb or finger-sucking habit is still present when their permanent teeth come in, there is a greater chance of developing a bad bite. This means that if the activity has not ceased by the age of five or six years, you need to constructively and gently help your child stop the habit. It is also a good idea to have a comprehensive evaluation at this time. Your pedodontist can assess if there are any habit-related alterations to the alignment of your child’s teeth or jaws, or if it is affecting their speech or swallowing patterns. They can also discuss habit control strategies with you, as well as follow your child’s bite and facial development as they grow. If there are recommendations that interceptive appliances or corrective orthodontic care are required, the pedodontist will discuss these with you.

What are the recommended ages for a child's first dental visit?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child’s first dental visit should occur within six months of the eruption of their first tooth, or no later than their first birthday. This early visit allows your Blue Coral pediatric dentist to evaluate your child’s oral health, provide preventive care, and identify any potential issues. It also helps to familiarize your child with our fun dental office environment.

How often should my child see a pediatric dentist for check-ups and cleanings?

The frequency of dental visits for children can vary depending on the child’s oral health and risk for dental problems. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children should have a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year, or as recommended by your Blue Coral Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics dentist. Children at high risk for dental problems may need more frequent visits.

What should I expect during my child's first visit to the pediatric dentist?

During a child’s first visit to Blue Coral Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, our dentist will perform a comprehensive oral examination, including an evaluation of your child’s teeth, gums, jaw, and bite. They may also take x-rays to check for any hidden dental issues. They will also provide preventive care, such as fluoride treatment and dental sealants if needed. Your Blue Coral dentist will also discuss any oral hygiene instructions and dietary recommendations with you.

How can I help my child feel comfortable and relaxed during dental appointments?

Children can be anxious about visiting the dentist, so it is important to prepare them for the experience. As a parent, you can discuss the visit with your child in advance and explain what will happen in a way that is appropriate for their age and understanding. During the appointment, parents can stay with their child and provide comfort and support.

What are common dental issues seen in children and how can they be prevented?

Some common dental issues seen in children include cavities, tooth decay, and orthodontic problems. These issues can be prevented through good oral hygiene practices, such as brushing and flossing regularly, limiting sugary foods and drinks, and visiting the Blue Coral Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics regularly for check-ups and cleanings. Sealants and fluoride treatments can also help to prevent cavities and tooth decay.

How can I teach my child good oral hygiene habits at home?

Teaching children good oral hygiene habits at home can begin as early as infancy. You can start by gently wiping your baby’s gums with a clean cloth or baby toothbrush. As the child’s teeth begin to come in, you can teach them to brush and floss their teeth. You can also set a good example by practicing good oral hygiene yourself.

What treatments are available for children with dental cavities or tooth decay?

Treatment for dental cavities or tooth decay in children can include fillings, crowns, and extractions, depending on the severity of the problem. Your Blue Coral Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics dentist will recommend the appropriate treatment based on the location and size of the cavity, as well as the child’s age and overall health. Fillings are a common treatment for small cavities, while crowns may be recommended for larger cavities or cavities that are close to the nerve of the tooth. In more severe cases, a tooth may need to be extracted.

Are there any special considerations for children with special needs or disabilities?

Children with special needs or disabilities may have unique dental needs that require extra care and attention. Blue Coral Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics staff are trained to handle these cases, and they will take into consideration the child’s specific needs, including any physical or mental challenges. Our dental team may use specialized equipment or techniques to make the child more comfortable during the appointment. They may also work closely with other healthcare professionals to ensure that the child’s overall health is taken into account when providing dental care.

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