Below are a few answers to some frequently asked questions.
Q: When should I start cleaning my baby's teeth?
A: The sooner the better. A baby’s gums should be cleaned with a soft cloth and water. By the time the first tooth comes in, you can start brushing the teeth and gums with a soft toothbrush twice a day.
Q: When should my child first see the dentist?
A: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that every child have their first dental visit by their first birthday or within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth. This allows the dentist to monitor the development of the oral tissues and gives the parents a resource for information about their child’s oral care.
Q: What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?
A: Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. The pediatric dentist has been through 2–3 additional years of rigorous specialized training after dental school focusing on the unique needs of children from infancy through adolescence. This also includes training in the care of children with special needs.
Q: What is the first dental visit like?
A: That depends on the child’s age and development. Dr.Bhanji will usually examine children under 3 with the child in their parent’s lap, knee–to–knee with the dentist. We like to carefully introduce new things like the dental chair, prophy brush, and suction equipment to each child in a fun way when they are at an age to enjoy it.
Q: Why are dental x–rays needed?
A: Dental x–rays are one of the most useful tools dentists use in helping patients maintain their oral health. They help dentists diagnose common problems such as cavities, periodontal disease and infections, as well as less common conditions like abscesses, tumors and cysts. X–rays can also allow the dentist to see whether a child’s permanent teeth are erupting properly with the correct spacing as well as check for any missing or extra teeth which may be developing in the jaws. Children generally need x–rays more often than adults because their mouths are growing and changing rapidly and they are more susceptible to tooth decay than adults.