Your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears to prevent dental problems. This usually occurs between 6 and 12 months of age or no later than his/her first birthday.
Have your pediatric dentist evaluate the fluoride level of your child's primary source of drinking water. If your child is not getting enough fluoride internally through water, then your pediatric dentist may prescribe fluoride supplements.
Children's teeth begin forming before birth. As early as four months, the first primary (or baby) teeth to erupt are the lower central incisors, followed closely by the upper central incisors. All primary teeth usually appear by age 3; the pace and order of eruption vary from child to child. Permanent teeth appear around age 6, and this process continues until age 21.
Click here to view the "tooth chart."
Ensure your child has a balanced diet, including one serving of fruits and vegetables, bread and cereals, milk and dairy products, and meat, fish, and eggs. Limiting the servings of sugars and starches will also aid in protecting your child's teeth from decay. You can also ask your pediatric dentist to help select foods that protect your children's teeth.
Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottles. Also, learn how to brush and floss your child's teeth properly.
A toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime.
A check-up every six months is recommended to prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on oral health.
Radiographs (X-rays) are a vital and necessary part of your child's oral health process. Without them, some dental conditions can and will be missed. Used for more than detecting cavities, they are useful to survey erupting teeth, diagnose bone diseases, or plan orthodontic treatment. It is recommended by the AAPD (American Academy of Pediatric Dentists) that X-rays be taken every six months for children with a high risk of tooth decay. Typically X-rays are taken once a year. Approximately every 3-5 years is recommended to have a panoramic X-ray taken.
Fluoridated toothpaste should be introduced as soon as your baby's teeth come into the mouth. As soon as teeth appear, decay can occur. Use no more than a smear or the size of a grain of rice of fluoridated toothpaste on children younger than three years. For children 3-6 years old, ensure only a pea-size amount is on the brush.
No, you do not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many others take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. Several permanent teeth in most children have erupted by this age, allowing us to evaluate your orthodontic condition effectively.
Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.
Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor, who will acclimate you to our office and prepare for the initial exam. The doctor will then complete a brief but thorough exam. Finally, if you are ready to begin treatment, we will take the necessary photographs, X-rays, and models to diagnose properly.
Yes! Regular checkups with your dentist are important while in braces. Your dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.
Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goals of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.
Treatment time depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment time lasts from 8 months to 30 months. The "average" time frame a person is in braces is approximately 18-24 months.
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 6 to 10 weeks. If specific situations require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
Generally, braces do not "hurt." After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness! We often remind our patients, "It does not have to hurt to work!"
It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. We will cover the cost and financial options during the initial examination. We have several financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you. We will also review your insurance policy, help maximize your benefit, and file your claims.
A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. Twenty-five percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness, and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!
No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age after the permanent molars erupt.
If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, call our office, and we will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information.
Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.
Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include ice, hard candy, raw vegetables, and all sticky foods (i.e., caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.
Patients should brush their teeth at least four times daily – after each meal and before bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.
Your child may need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the "resting period," during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Parents and patients will be informed of future treatment recommendations throughout this period.
If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. We will set aside time for you if you require an emergency appointment.
Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.
Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. It usually lasts about 12 months or less. The primary objective of Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image.
There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:
- Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
- What must be done to correct the problem?
- When is the proper time to begin treatment?
- How long will the treatment take to complete?
- How much will the treatment cost?