Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - Pediatric Dentistry
+ My child lost a tooth that wasn't wiggly. Should I worry?
You don't need to worry, but you should get a hold of us to make sure that no damage was done to other teeth or the developing permanent teeth.
Baby teeth serve a number of important purposes (including giving your child a photo-worthy smile you can't resist!). They help your child eat solid food and learn to speak clearly. They also serve as placeholders for the developing permanent teeth.
As the permanent teeth move in to place and become ready to grow in, the baby tooth prepares by dissolving the root. As the root dissolves, the tooth becomes loose. Eventually, it falls out so the permanent tooth has space to come in.
An injury can disrupt this process. If the baby tooth comes out too early, other teeth can shift. This means that the permanent tooth does not have the proper space to grow in, which means that it might grow in incorrectly or become impacted and fail to fully erupt. Another possible scenario is that the nerve of the injured baby tooth can die, which means that the root of the baby tooth never dissolves and the tooth is not lost on schedule. This can lead to infection or abscess.
If your child injures their tooth or loses a tooth that isn't loose, call our office so we can evaluate. We may determine that a spacer will help hold the space for the developing tooth, or the damaged tooth may need to be extracted.
Or it might just mean a visit from the tooth fairy is imminent!
+ How can I help my child feel good about seeing the dentist?
Dental fear is so pervasive in our society, and unfortunately our media – even TV shows and movies aimed toward children! – promotes these negative feelings!
The good news is that we can stop this cycle in its tracks, and it's never too late.
The first step is to consider carefully what messages you have been giving your child about the dentist. Are you yourself afraid of the dentist? We understand if you are, but you will want to be careful not to unintentionally communicate your anxieties to your child. This can sometimes turn up in the language that you use. Children are quick to pick up on their parents' worries!
At your child's first appointment, we will take the time to get to know your child and introduce them to our practice and the people who work here. We'll help your child see that dentists aren't mean and scary; we're actually very nice people who want to help you have beautiful teeth and a healthy smile!
We'll work at your child's pace and won't proceed with treatment until they feel comfortable. Kids are naturally curious, and we are often able to use this to help them become more relaxed! We'll tell them about the instruments we use and let them look at their teeth with mirrors.
If you have any concerns about preparing your child, please don't hesitate to call us. We can share books and other resources that can help you and your child feel good about your next visit!