Small Fry Dentistry receives several frequently asked questions from our adolescent patients. Below are some of the most common questions we receive and their answers. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us.
I heard that there is no need to treat a cavity or worry too much about removing plaque in baby teeth because they’re going to fall out anyway. Is this true?
This is a misconception that some people have. It is just as important to treat cavities and maintain good oral hygiene for baby teeth as it is for adults with permanent teeth. While it is true that they will fall out and healthy adult teeth can grow in their place, some dental issues in young children can permanently damage their adult teeth, gums, and jaw if not treated.
How can I get my kids to enjoy brushing their teeth and develop regular habits?
There are several strategies that may work for different families. One suggestion is to purchase a toothbrush that plays music. Brushing for the length of time the song plays is a good amount of time and will keep kids distracted while they brush. Offering rewards such as a small toy or a play date with a friend when they brush their teeth consistently over a period of time can serve an incentive. Finally, explaining how important it is to brush their teeth in terms they can understand will help, as will asking them to brush their teeth at the same times every day.
My child often swallows toothpaste. Is this harmful?
It could be harmful if a baby swallows too much of the toothpaste. Frequent swallowing of toothpaste can create a spike of fluoride in their bloodstream which can hinder the proper development of their adult teeth over time. If you purchase children’s toothpaste for them, it has a lower fluoride concentration for that reason. Try to get your child in the habit of spitting out the toothpaste, but in the meantime, use child toothpaste in small, pea-sized amounts to lower the amount of fluoride they ingest.
What can I expect for my child’s first visit to the dentist?
Before their first birthday, you should take them to their first dentist appointment. This visit will be an introductory icebreaker to acquaint them with the dentist and the practice. You may need to do a few brief, successive visits to get them comfortable with the process. Schedule the appointment for early in the day. If the child is compliant, the dentist with gently and thoroughly examine the teeth, jaw, and gums to monitor growth, perform a gentle cleaning, take x-rays, and demonstrate proper cleaning at home for the parents.
Dr. Valda would like to meet with the mother while she is still pregnant so that they could talk about everything they need to expect.
What happens during and after a wisdom teeth extraction?
When you get your wisdom teeth extracted, the dentist will typically use local anesthesia to numb the area and you’ll be fully awake. You will feel pressure but not pain. Other options include sedation or general anesthesia depending on your preference and the dentist’s suggestion. The dentist will make an incision in the gum to expose the tooth, remove the bone that blocks the tooth root, split the tooth into sections and remove it. Then the site is cleaned, the wound is closed as needed, and gauze is placed over the extraction.
After the procedure, you can expect bleeding on the first day and some pain, which can be managed with Tylenol. Swelling and bruising can occur for the first two or three days. Avoid strenuous activity for the first week, and drink a lot of water, but no alcohol, caffeine, or carbonated beverages the first day. Eat only soft foods until the wound is healed, and clean your mouth with mouthwash rather than brushing your teeth for the first 24 hours.