Pediatric Dental FAQs

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Answers to Your Frequently Asked Dental Questions
for Kids

Thanks for visiting the FAQ page of Granite Bay Pediatric Dentistry! We understand that taking care of your child’s health can raise various questions and we’re here to provide assistance. Whether it’s about your little one’s first tooth or getting familiar with dental sealants, this page aims to address the most commonly asked questions by parents,
like yourself.

If you can’t find the information you need please feel free to reach out to us. Your child’s smile is our top priority!

Young girl lounging back in a bright pink dental chair smiling before her children's cleaning and exam with Dr. Singh in Granite Bay, CA


What is a pediatric dentist and how do they differ from a general dentist?

A pediatric dentist receives an additional two years of specialized training after dental school to treat children’s dental health. Pediatric dentists are experts in growth and development and specialize in the oral health of children from infancy through adolescence.

When should a child have their first dental visit?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that all children be seen for their first dental visit within 6 months of erupting their first tooth and no later than their first birthday.

How can I prepare my child for their first dental visit?

To prepare your child for their first dental visit, talk positively about the dentist, read them books about dental visits, and do a pretend visit at home. Avoid using negative works like pokey or shots, this can really cause a child to develop fear of the dentist.

What is dental sealant and why might my child need it?

Dental sealants go into the depths of the deep grooves of the molars as a protective layer to keep cavity-causing bacteria out and preserve the longevity of the tooth. All teeth with grooves are candidates for sealants, permanent teeth and baby teeth.

Why are baby teeth important if they're going to fall out anyway?

Baby teeth encourage normal jaw development, aid in the ability to pronounce their words, chew properly and most importantly preserve the space for the permanent teeth.

What are common dental problems in children and how are they treated?

Cavities, infection or abscessed teeth, speech difficulty, non-nutritive habits such as thumb-sucking or extending pacifier use which can lead to malocclusions requiring early orthodontic interventions.

Treatment: Cavities can be treated based on their severity, if they are minimal, then home care instructions are reinforced and the cavities are monitored every 6 months with x-rays and clinical exams. Moderate cavities are treated with fillings, severe cavities are treated with pulpotomies and crowns or even extractions with space maintainers.

We focus on prevention, therefore counseling on pacifier and thumb sucking happens at a very early age. The craniofacial complex grows exponentially throughout early childhood, therefore, developing malocclusions can correct themselves to a certain degree, if the non-nutritive habit is removed early enough.

How can I help my child maintain good oral hygiene at home?

Monitor your children as they practice daily hygiene, ensure that they are doing it long enough and getting on all the surfaces. We recommend parents to help brush their children’s teeth until age 7, and after that step 2 to 3 times a week for quality control. It’s better than getting cavities!

What is fluoride and why is it important for my child's teeth?

The benefits of fluoride are immense for preventing cavities. The mechanism of action of Fluoride is that is displaces the hydroxyl group of hydroxyapatite (the main ingredient of enamel) to create fluorapatite, a compound that is much stronger than hydroxyapatite, therefore making the tooth structure stronger and more resilient from getting cavities. Fluoride should be used in controlled doses, let’s talk about this next time you are in the clinic.

What is the proper way to clean my baby's teeth?

If your child is from 0-3 years of age, the best way to brush their teeth is with a smear of fluoridated toothpaste. Ensure that you are brushing on all of the surfaces of each tooth. The best way to do this on an uncooperative child is with 2 adults in a lap to lap position, where one stabilizes the child’s arms and legs and the other stabilizes the head and brushes the teeth.

What are space maintainers and why might my child need one?

Space maintainers are metal bands that go around an existing tooth, with a ring extension that goes over the missing tooth and rests on the tooth directly in front of the missing tooth. This will help prevent premature space loss. Space maintainers are needed due to early loss of a back tooth due to infection, cavities or trauma. They are removed by the dentist as soon as the permanent tooth starts to erupt.

What should I do if my child has a toothache?

Rinse the area with warm water, use dental floss to remove any trapped food, give them over-the-counter pain relievers meant for children, and see a dentist as soon as possible.

What to do if my child knocks out a tooth?

If a permanent tooth is knocked out, try to put it back in place without touching the root and see a dentist immediately. If it’s a baby tooth, don’t reinsert it and consult your dentist

When will my child start losing baby teeth?

The average age range to start losing teeth is between ages of 6-8 years old, but this varies from child to child

How safe are dental X-rays for children?

Dental X-rays are safe for children. Dentists use low levels of radiation and take necessary precautions to protect your child.

Can my child play sports with braces?

Yes, children can play sports with braces, but they should wear a mouthguard to protect their teeth and braces

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