When should we schedule our first visit?

At Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry, we maintain the policy of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and recommend that your child’s first visit should take place by the time your child is 1 year old. The first visit is very important with each one of our patients. We know that this is a young age to expose your child to something that can potentially seem scary and intimidating, but at Salt Lake Pediatric Dentistry, we are professionals and will do everything necessary to make sure your child has a pleasant, comfortable first visit. The advantage to taking your child to a certified pediatric dentist is that your young child will be taken to specialists who know how to cater to the needs of your child, no matter how young your children are. We make sure to include you (the parents or guardians) in every visit, and give you instructions as well as your young child.

How should we prepare for our first visit?

Often times, the first visit to a dentist can be a big experience for both the parent and the child. Whenever you bring your child to his/her first visit, we will make sure that we create a happy and uplifting atmosphere in our office. As you prepare your child to come to our office, refrain from using words like, “shot” or “needle.” These words may cause unnecessary fear and create a negative attitude to coming to the dentist. It is important for parents to convey a positive attitude about the dentist to your children. You can read stories about visiting the dentist with your child, and give them positive expectations.

What is baby bottle tooth decay and how can I prevent it?

Baby bottle tooth decay is a pattern of rapid decay associated with prolonged nursing and/or bottle feeding. It happens when a child goes to sleep while breast-feeding and/or bottle-feeding. During sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced and the natural self-cleansing action of the mouth is diminished. Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottle. Encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday. He/she should be weaned from the bottle at 12-14 months of age.

When should my child start using toothpaste?

Usually a child does not need to used a toothpaste with fluoride until they are two years old. Earlier than that, you can clean your child’s teeth with water and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Until you are confident that your child is able to spit out the majority of the toothpaste, place only a “skim” on the tooth brush bristles. Once they are able to spit the toothpaste out you can use a “pea size” amount of toothpaste when brushing. Parents are also strongly encouraged to brush your child’s teeth for them and as they get older to supervise their brushing as well.

When Will My Baby Start Getting Teeth?

Teething, the process of baby (primary) teeth coming through the gums into the mouth, is variable among individual babies. Some babies get their teeth early and some get them late. In general the first baby teeth are usually the lower front (anterior) teeth and usually begin erupting between the age of 6-8 months.

What causes Tooth Decay, and how can I prevent it in my child?

Caries, or tooth decay, is a preventable disease when it is treated correctly by qualified, dental professionals. While caries might not endanger your child’s life, they may negatively impact the quality of life your child will experience. When your teeth and gums are consistently exposed to large amounts of starches and sugars, acids may form that begin to eat away at tooth enamel. Carbohydrate-rich foods such as candy, cookies, soft drinks and even fruit juices leave deposits on your teeth.

My child says his/her teeth hurt. Can you help with this?

Most people don’t know that teeth will expand and contract in reaction to changes in temperature. That is why hot and cold food and beverages can cause pain or irritation to people with sensitive teeth. Over time, tooth enamel can be worn down, gums may recede or teeth may develop microscopic cracks, exposing the interior of the tooth and irritating nerve endings. Just breathing cold air can be painful for those with extremely sensitive teeth. We take sensitivity to teeth seriously here, and want to make sure that we can eliminate the pain that can come to your child’s teeth.

How can I protect my son/daughter against gum disease?

When someone has gum (periodontal) disease it means that an excessive amount of plaque and calculus (tartar) have accumulated around the teeth, which causes deterioration to the surrounding area of your teeth (which can include the jaw bone). It can be characterized and identified by red, swollen and bleeding gums. If left untreated, gum disease will eventually begin to destroy the gums and bone. Because the early stages of gum diseases are usually painless, it can be difficult to detect. Some of the signs and symptoms of developing periodontal disease include the following:

Should I be alarmed by bad breath? How can I stop persistent bad breath?

Daily brushing and flossing helps to prevent the buildup of food particles, plaque and bacteria in your mouth. Food particles left in the mouth deteriorate and cause bad breath. While certain foods, such as garlic or anchovies, may create temporary bad breath, consistent bad breath may be a sign of gum disease or another dental problem. When consistent bad breath is present, it may be time to schedule an appointment with us. We are able to determine of your child’s bad breath is a result of a more serious condition that may be developing in your child’s mouth.

Does your office do anything regarding early orthodontics?

Orthodontic Treatment is one of the most basic and most effective ways to make your child’s smile into a radiant and more attractive smile. Unfortunately, this kind of treatment is usually started and performed to correct teeth that have already formed crooked or misaligned.Thanks to advances in dentistry, we can take a more proactive approach. In years past, a developing mouth would “interfere” with corrective orthodontics. The benefit with Interceptive Orthodontics is that we can start treatment earlier and take advantage of the growth of your child’s mouth for better alignment and cooperation. In the end, this will result in fewer extracted teeth, better profile and facial esthetics, and a full and beautiful smile for your child.

Is thumb sucking bad for my son/daughter?

That depends on how long your child has been sucking his/her thumb and how old he/she is.Sucking is a natural reflex and is normal for infants and toddlers to use thumbs, fingers, pacifiers and other objects on which to suck. More than 90% of children younger than age two will suckle in order to feel secure, happy, and at bedtime in order to provide themselves a sense of security at difficult periods. Since thumb sucking is somewhat reflexive, it may occur during and/or induce sleep. In the early stages of your child’s life, thumb sucking is completely natural and shouldn’t cause any alarm within your household.