4 Questions to Ask a Pediatric Dentist
Excellent oral hygiene for children can help prevent issues and emergency trips to the dentist. This article covers questions parents can ask the pediatric dentist at their child's appointment.
4 Questions parents should ask their child's pediatric dentist
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends that children see the dentist for the first time when they become one year old or when their first tooth appears. Even if the child is older, they need to go to the dentist if they have not started already. Dental checkups and cleanings every six months are critical for ensuring the child's smile stays healthy and strong, and they allow the dental professional to keep track of their oral development. The following are some questions parents may want to ask their child's pediatric dentist.
1. What happens at the first appointment?
The pediatric dentist will do a quick exam on the child if they are under the age of two years. They will gently clean the child's mouth, inspect their gums and teeth, and discuss their dental health with the parent. Children between the ages of two and three who have most or all of their teeth will have routine teeth cleaning and oral examination, much like adults. The dentist will check their mouth after a hygienist cleans their teeth, polishes them with a brush, and flosses to eliminate any leftover debris.
2. Are dental x-rays harmful to children?
Dental x-rays have been shown to be perfectly safe for children of all ages, and dentists nowadays utilize the most up-to-date digital x-ray equipment to reduce radiation exposure. The dentist will only suggest x-rays if it is essential, and will ask for the parent’s permission before taking x-rays of their child's oral cavity.
3. Will my child need braces?
There are a few telltale symptoms that a child might require braces, such as a visible overbite or underbite, or problems with their dental alignment, but it is not always easy to identify. An orthodontic evaluation is the best approach to determine whether a child needs braces. We usually recommend that children get an orthodontic exam before the age of six to ensure that their mouths are growing properly.
4. Are baby teeth important if they are going to fall out anyway?
Yes, baby teeth are crucial, and having an excellent oral health routine is critical to keeping a child's baby teeth healthy. Baby teeth begin to fall out around the age of six, but some are not replaced by permanent teeth until the age of 12 or 13, so good baby teeth are critical for a strong, healthy smile throughout the child’s development.
The baby teeth also serve as the placeholders that adult teeth will follow when they erupt. If a child loses one or more baby teeth too early, it might affect their dental health and development.
The bottom line
It is normal for parents to have a lot of questions regarding how to care for their child's mouth. Making an appointment with a pediatric dentist can help you get the answers you need.
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