Frequently Asked Questions

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Oral hygiene for kiddos isn’t always a walk in the park! That’s why we’re here to answer your questions, provide guidance, and share tips to help you understand your child’s growing smile and how you can help make it shine.

When Should My Child Have Their First Check-Up?

You should schedule your child's first appointment when their first tooth erupts, or by their first birthday, whichever comes first. Learn what your child's first visit will be like here.

Will Baby Teeth Have An Impact On My Child's Health?

Baby teeth (also called primary teeth) are important for a variety of reasons. In addition to helping children chew and speak properly, they also help form a path for permanent teeth when they're ready to erupt.

How Should I Clean My Baby's Teeth?

Even baby teeth can collect bacteria, leading to plaque and decay. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head, ideally one designed for babies, to clean your infant's teeth at least once per day before bed. Check out our tips to care for your baby's smile!

Are Pacifiers And Thumb Sucking Bad For My Baby's Health?

Pacifier and thumb habits are only problematic if they persist for a long period. Most children stop on their own, but if they keep sucking after age 3, we may need to prescribe a mouth appliance.

Does Nursing Cause Tooth Decay?

Yes. Avoid nursing your infant to sleep or putting anything besides water in their bedtime bottle. Gently brush and floss your infant's teeth properly and check their gums and teeth regularly. It’s also important to schedule the first visit by your baby's first birthday. Learn more about your child's smile stages here.

How Often Should My Child Have Dental Appointments?

We recommend coming in for appointments once every 6 months to prevent dental issues, like cavities. But each child has differing needs and may need a different schedule for appointments. As part of your child's preventative care routine, we recommend visiting the dentist every six months.

What Is The Recommended Age For Orthodontic Treatment?

The American Academy of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends children to get an orthodontic checkup for the first time by age 7. This early appointment can allow one of our dentists to get a thorough understanding of your child's airway, bite, and oral habits. It also gives the dentist an opportunity to screen for any potential issues with your child's smile.

Your dentist may recommend that your child starts orthodontic care if their problem is one that could worsen over time and cause severe dental issues in adulthood if left untreated. The goal of early treatment is to recognize and eliminate these problems as early as possible, so a child’s teeth and jaw can properly grow and maintain space for incoming adult teeth.

In general, there are 2 types of orthodontic treatment: Interceptive/Phase 1 Orthodontics and Phase 2 Orthodontics.

Interceptive and/or Phase 1 serves the purpose of influencing the growth in the jaws or other oral structures while the child is at an early age of development. It can sometimes be helpful to address these orthodontic problems before they become more challenging as they begin to grow. This stage of orthodontic treatment usually helps to align the “smiling teeth” and allow for ample room for other erupting teeth to develop properly. These issues can be addressed as early as age 4! We typically see kids for Phase 1 orthodontics between the ages of 8 and 9, and treatment lasts for an average of one year.

In Phase 2, your child's dentist will ensure their teeth are in proper places for optimal function, a healthy bite, and to provide the most aesthetically-pleasing smile. This stage or orthodontics typically begins once most or all permanent teeth have erupted. The typical duration of treatment is determined by the severity of misalignment (typically 1-2 years).

Rest assured that all orthodontic care is done under the supervision of one of our awesome dentists, and often with a referral to a local orthodontist.

Does Every Child Need Braces?

No. Some kids are born with adequate spacing to allow for the eruption of permanent teeth to come in straight and in alignment with the opposing arch. There are cases where teeth function is acceptable but a patient still chooses orthodontic treatment for cosmetic purposes, such as closing a gap between teeth or fixing moving teeth that appear to be too close together, known as crowding.

My Child Has Missing Teeth. Can They Still Get Braces?

Depending on the circumstances, orthodontic treatment may be possible even if some of your child's teeth are missing. We can use orthodontics to close gaps made by missing teeth and can potentially create adequate space for replacement teeth. Reach out to our team for a consultation!

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