FAQs About Pediatric Dental Care

Proudly serving Newton MA and surrounding towns.

When Will My Child’s First Tooth Come In?

Tooth eruption in infants can vary from one child to the next. In most cases you’ll see at least one or two teeth between 6-12 months of age.

When do Adult Teeth Start to Erupt?

The first adult teeth to erupt will be the front lower teeth or the “six year molars” further back in the mouth. As you might guess from the name, permanent teeth start to come in around age 6.

How Old Will My Child Be When They Lose Their First Tooth?

Every child is different, but most will lose a lower front tooth when they’re about 5 or 6 years old (which is when they’re usually in Kindergarten or 1st grade.)

Can Sealants Help Prevent Cavities?

Yes. Sealants make it easier to clean the chewing surfaces of teeth, where it’s more common for bacteria to settle down into the deep grooves. They essentially block out acids and bacteria, lowering the chances of getting a cavity on that surface.

Which Teeth Should be Sealed?

Sealants work best when they’re placed in the deep pits and grooves of permanent molars. These are the back teeth that erupt around ages 6 and 12, respectively.

Does My Child Need Dental X-rays?

Dental X-rays are an important part of screening for tooth decay, impacted teeth, abscesses, cysts, and orthodontic needs. They are extremely safe for children of all ages. Without periodic X-rays, dental disease can go undiagnosed until it reaches more aggressive stages.

Do Baby Teeth Need Fillings if There is a Cavity?

Yes. We use minimally invasive white fillings that seal out decay and help prevent the cavity from spreading into adjacent teeth.

Can We Pull a Baby Tooth if It is Abscessed or Decaying?

Baby teeth are placeholders for the developing adult tooth underneath them. Prematurely pulling a tooth can cause permanent misalignment or impacted teeth (as well as orthodontic concerns.) If it can be restored, treating the infection is best.

How Old Should a Child Be Before They See a Dentist?

Pediatricians and dental experts recommend that every child have a dental exam by the time they are 1 year old, or their first tooth erupts (whichever one comes first.)

Is My Child Old Enough to Brush by Themselves?

Until your child can tie their own shoes, you should be helping them brush their teeth. If they want to do it on their own, just go back behind them and brush again to make sure everything is clean.

When Should My Child Stop Using a Pacifier?

Aim to start breaking your child from thumb sucking, finger sucking, or pacifier use by 18-20 months of age. Ideally, they need to give it up before their 2nd birthday.

Is Dental Sedation Safe for Children?

Absolutely. We offer in-house nitrous oxide sedation (“laughing gas”) which is a gentle and lighter type of sedative. We’ll perform a thorough medical screening to rule out any potential risk factors.

Should My Child Get a Sports Mouthguard?

If your child or teen is involved in any type of contact sport or activity where facial trauma is possible, then a sports mouthguard is a smart investment to make.

How do I Know if My Child Needs Braces?

As a rule of thumb, schedule your child’s first orthodontic evaluation by the time they’re 7 years old. If they do not need early intervention (Phase I braces) they can be monitored from checkup to checkup for changes in their bite alignment.

Do I Need to Floss My Child’s Teeth?

Flossing cleans between teeth, where a toothbrush doesn’t. If your child’s teeth are touching side-by-side, then make sure you’re flossing them at least once a day.

Why are My Child’s Teeth Yellow?

Baby teeth tend to be quite white, but adult teeth have a thicker layer of yellow “dentin” under their enamel. As adult teeth start to erupt next to baby teeth, they may inadvertently seem yellower due to the contrast between the two.

How Can I Tell if My Child Has a Cavity?

Tooth decay isn’t always visible until it’s aggressive. If your child is complaining of pain or having difficulty eating, it’s best to go ahead and bring them in for an exam. If you can see a visible hole in your tooth, there’s a high chance that the tooth may be abscessed. Comprehensive Dentistry for Children

Is it time for your child (or family’s) next checkup? Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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