Frequently Asked Questions!
According to guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), your child should be seen by his/her pediatric dentist no later than six months after the eruption of the first tooth. This visit mainly will involve counseling on oral hygiene, habits and on the effects that diet can have on his/her teeth. It is NOT recommended to wait until age 3 to visit your dentist and as a general rule, the earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental problems. Children with healthy teeth chew food easily, learn to speak clearly, and smile with confidence. Start your child now on a lifetime of good dental habits. The AAPD also recommends a dental check-up at least twice a year; however some children that may be at a higher-than-average caries risk may need to be seen more often.
It is normal and even “ideal” for baby teeth to have spacing between each other. Keep in mind that when permanent teeth erupt, their size will be considerably larger than that of baby teeth. As the baby teeth are lost, the erupting permanent tooth will quickly take advantage of this excess space. Children who do not have spacing in their primary dentition can have a higher incidence of crowding (crooked teeth) in the permanent dentition.
There is not such a thing as the best toothpaste. We recommend ONLY products that have been ADA (American Dental Association) accepted or approved. The selection is usually made on a case-by-case basis; however the main consideration when selecting toothpaste is your child’s age. This is due to the risk of fluorosis in younger children that swallow toothpaste during regular brushing. A child may face the condition called enamel fluorosis if he or she gets too much fluoride during the years of tooth development. Too much fluoride can result in defects in tooth enamel.
Recent controversy regarding the use of Stainless Steel Crowns (SSCs) in some states have led some parents to question dental care providers more thoroughly on their use and on other alternatives. SSCs have been used in dentistry for over 60 years for primary and permanent dentition. For primary (baby) teeth, SSCs are usually placed on teeth that have extensive caries, teeth that have pulp treatment (“root canals” on baby teeth), and for teeth that will remain on the mouth for a considerably long period of time. Alternatives to Stainless Steel Crowns do exist, and we will be happy to discuss these options. Usually these can be one of the following:
- A prefabricated SSC that has a white material bonded to it on the front (Commonly we use the NuSmile Signature Crowns. (please visit www.nusmilecrowns.com)
- An All composite (white filling material) crown.
- A Zirconia (white porcelain/glass crown) crown.
Doctor Dorantes and his staff will discuss all the necessary steps that must be taken in order to promptly and safely complete your child’s dental work under General Anesthesia. With Thousands of successful cases completed, we have the experience and the training to safely address your child needs.
The use of general anesthesia for dental work in children is sometimes necessary in order to provide safe, efficient, and predictable care. Our academy (AAPD) recognizes the need for general anesthesia in certain situations were challenges relating to the child’s age, behavior, medical conditions, developmental disabilities, intellectual limitations, or special treatment needs may warrant it. General Anesthesia is given to your child by a specialist (anesthesiologist) and our office is the only pediatric dental practice in Yakima using MD trained anesthesiologist for our in-office services.
A natural concern of any parent or guardian whose child is having an operation is whether the anesthesia will cause any harm. Even though anesthesia today is much safer than it has ever been, all anesthesia has an element of risk. If you have questions specific to general anesthesia, please refer to our anesthesiologist’s website at http://www.m2anesthesia.com
When a baby-tooth changes color, it can mean many things. Baby teeth can and do normally change in color, particularly close to the time that they become loose, however, this change is minimal and should not be confused with a carious lesion (cavity). The best way to determine if your child has a stain or a true cavity is to take him or her to a pediatric dentist. Caries is an infectious disease; it progresses if left untreated, and usually is associated with pain (especially when the “cavities” are large). Teeth with cavities typically assume a darker (brown) discoloration, and depending on the extent, may exhibit loss of tooth structure. Teeth that have been previously “bumped” may also change in color. Traumatized baby teeth can assume a yellow or a dark discoloration, which may or may-not be associated with pain. Other less common causes of changes in color may be: Fluorosis, food staining (particularly tea or colas), systemic disease (hepatitis), etc.
One of our most common consults occurs when children around the age of six or seven begin to lose their lower front teeth. Many of our parents become overly worried about this phenomenon. It is VERY NORMAL for permanent lower incisors (front teeth) to erupt behind their predecessors (baby teeth), however if a baby tooth is not loose by the time half of the permanent incisor has erupted, it may be necessary to pull it.