Frequently Asked Questions
We know that parents often have questions about dental treatments for their children. We are always available to answer those questions but wanted to share some of the more frequently asked questions here!
When is the right time for my child's first dental visit?
At Carolina Orthodontics & Pediatric Dentistry, we follow the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry who recommends that children have their first dentist visit six months after their first tooth erupts or at one year of age, whichever comes first.
What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a dentist who works with kids?
Pediatric dentistry is a dental specialty. Pediatric dentists complete completing dental school and then obtain several years of specialized training beyond that point. As he specialized in pediatric dentistry, Dr. Singh worked hard to gain experience and training specifically related to treating infants, children, and adolescents.
Pediatric dentists typically work exclusively with children and have additional knowledge about child development and behavior. At Carolina Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, our office is geared towards children. From our staff to our office decor and activities, you'll realize that we have put a lot of attention into designing a space especially for children.
What should I expect during our first visit?
You can check out our First Pediatric Visit page for more information.
The first visit to our office is typically short and straightforward. Our focus is on getting to know your child. We will give you some basic information about helping your child care for their teeth. The dentist will assess your child's teeth and any potential problems with the gums and jaw.
Sometimes during the first visit we will do some cleaning. We are available to answer any questions you may have about how to care for your child’s teeth. We may also be able to provide you with helpful resources.
Is there anything I can do to help prepare my child for their first dentist appointment?
The most important way to help prepare your child for their first visit to our office is to be positive. Your child can easily pick up on any anxiety that you may be experiencing. Making negative comments about trips to the dentist can mean your child will anticipate an unpleasant experience and act accordingly.
We have some additional information on our First Pediatric Visit page about this question.
How often should my child visit the dentist?
We generally recommend scheduling checkups every six months. Depending on the circumstances of your son or daughter’s oral health, we may recommend more frequent visits.
How can I help care for baby teeth?
Baby teeth may not last for a lifetime but they are important in your child's development. They help your child speak, smile, and chew properly. These teeth also hold space in the jaw for permanent teeth.
If your child loses a baby tooth too early (due to damage or decay), it can cause a variety of problems for permanent or adult teeth. We'll work with your child, regardless of the situation to make sure that their oral health is the best it can be.
What’s the best way to clean my baby’s teeth?
Even before your infant’s first tooth appears, we recommend you clean the gums after feedings with a damp, soft washcloth. As soon as the first tooth appears, you can start using a toothbrush. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head. You can most likely find a toothbrush designed for infants at your local drugstore.
Can I help my child avoid cavities?
Of course. First it's important to understand what cavities are. There are bacteria that live in our mouth and, when they come into contact with the sugars that we eat, acids are produced and attack our teeth. Eventually, the acid eats through our enamel and can create holes in the teeth, which we call cavities.
Help your child brush their teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Flossing is important too, since it reaches where tooth brushes often can't
Dr. Singh may be able to help give you information about a fluoride supplement that can help tooth enamel become harder and more resistant to decay. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, limit snacking, and maintain a healthy diet. Finally, make regular appointments so we can check the health of your child’s teeth and provide professional cleanings.
My child plays sports. How can I protect their teeth?
We recommend mouthguards for children active in sports. If your little one plays baseball, soccer, or other sports, ask us about having a custom-fitted mouthguard made to protect the teeth, lips, cheeks, and gums.
What should I do if my child sucks a thumb?
When should my child have dental X-rays taken?
We recommend taking X-rays around the age of two or three. The first set consists of simple pictures of the front upper and lower teeth, which familiarizes your child with the process. Once the baby teeth in back are touching each other, then regular (at least yearly) X-rays are recommended.
Permanent teeth start coming in around age six, and X-rays help us make sure your son or daughter’s teeth and jaw are healthy and properly aligned. If your child is at a high risk of dental problems, we may suggest having X-rays taken at an earlier age.