Q: When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?
A: In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.
Q: What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?
A: Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry. A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are primary and specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs.
Q: Are baby teeth really that important to my child?
A: Primary or "baby" teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.
Q: What should I use to clean my baby's teeth?
A: 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.
Q: Are thumb sucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child's teeth?
A: Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of three, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist.
Q: How can I prevent decay caused by nursing?
A: Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bed-time bottle. Also, learn the proper way to brush and floss your child's teeth. Take your child to a pediatric dentist regularly to have his/her teeth and gums checked. The first dental visit should be scheduled by your child's first birthday.
Q: How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?
A: A check-up every six months is recommended in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, your pediatric dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on their personal oral health.
Q: How can parents help prevent tooth decay?
A: Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.
Q: How much does orthodontic treatment cost?
A: The fee for an individual’s treatment is determined by a variety of factors, including the severity of the problem to be corrected, as well as the anticipated length of treatment. Please talk with your orthodontist about the types of treatment that you are interested in so that together you can decide what is appropriate and will fit your family’s budget.
Q: Will the orthodontist take my insurance? How much does insurance cover?
A: If you have dental insurance that includes orthodontic benefits, check with the insurance company or your employer’s HR department to learn details of the coverage available to you – whether coverage is for a percentage of the fee or is capped at a specific dollar amount (“lifetime cap”); who your policy covers (you, or you and your spouse, or you and your spouse and your children, etc., and whether insurance coverage has an age limit); and whether you are required to choose from the insurance company’s providers.
Q: Do I have to have insurance to have orthodontic treatment?
A: No. Insurance is not required to have orthodontic treatment. Smile Generation-trusted offices have alternative payment options to help you take care of your family’s oral health. See the Insurance page for more information.
Q: What’s the ideal age for orthodontic treatment – is there one?
A: Chronological age is not a factor when deciding whether a patient is a candidate for orthodontic treatment; there is not one ideal age for treatment to begin. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age. Regardless of age, patients can look forward to teeth that not only look better, but work better, too.
Q: How long does orthodontic treatment last?
A: The average length of orthodontic treatment is 22 months, according to a 2014 survey among members of the American Association of Orthodontists.
Q: Can my child get braces if he/she is missing some teeth?
A: It may be possible to have successful orthodontic treatment if some teeth are missing, depending on the circumstances and treatment goals. Orthodontic treatment may be able to close the space of a missing tooth, or may be able to create or save sufficient space for a replacement tooth/teeth. Consult an orthodontist to discuss what is right for your child.