Is it time for your child’s next dentist’s appointment? Is it their first-ever pediatric dentist appointment?
Regardless of whether this is a first visit or a routine visit, it’s important that you stay attuned to your child’s dental health. Even when they have baby teeth, their teeth matter.
As a parent, it’s easy to be confused about what is and isn’t appropriate for you to do at an appointment. It may feel best to not interrupt the dentist with any questions or concerns.
Rest assured that your kid’s dentist wants you to feel comfortable and well-informed. They’re happy to answer any questions that you have and address any issues that you may have noticed!
Not sure what to ask? No problem. Read on for a few common questions that parents have for their child’s pediatric dentist.
1. Is Their Dental Hygiene Routine Good?
Depending on the age of your child, you might still be responsible for their dental hygiene. Even babies need to have their teeth (or lack thereof) cleaned if you want them to grow up with healthy teeth and gums.
If you’re still brushing your child’s teeth, or if you haven’t yet started, talk to your dentist about the routine that you go through or plan to go through. Your dentist will talk to you about what’s right, what’s wrong, and where your child’s specific needs may alter a dental hygiene routine.
If your child is already brushing their own teeth, explain it to the dentist. What kind of toothpaste are they using? Do they use a standard toothbrush or an electric one? Are you having trouble getting them to floss?
Your dentist will talk to you and your child about how to stick to a great dental hygiene routine.
2. Do You Foresee Future Problems?
Children start off with a set of baby teeth. This makes it more difficult to determine how their dental health will progress in the future. As their adult teeth begin to grow in, the future becomes clearer.
For older children, it’s sometimes possible for dentists to determine if there’s going to be an orthodontic issue in the future. There may be early signs of crowding, bite problems, gaps, or jaw issues.
It’s far easier to fix orthodontic issues when the patient is still a child. The teeth and jaw are more malleable. Treatment times may be shorter and it may be easier to do complex movements than it would be as an adult.
Ask the dentist about future problems and create a plan for when the child should see an orthodontist.
3. Should I Change Their Diet?
Everyone knows that certain foods are bad for the teeth, but what about the foods that you’re feeding your child right now?
Even if you’re not giving your child constant candy, most parents do give their children juice. Juice is often full of nutrients, but it’s also full of natural sugar. Talk to your dentist about how your child eats and whether or not you should make changes to support their dental health.
They may suggest adding vitamins if you’re not already using a multivitamin.
4. How Can I Help Them?
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to help your child maintain their dental health. Even when they’re able to take care of their hygiene on their own, you’re in charge of holding them accountable and providing everything that they need to have healthy mouths.
Your dentist may have suggestions for how to help your child. They may suggest adding a fluoride rinse to their routine or working together to make sure that they’re brushing their teeth for long enough, among other things.
This may also include encouraging or discouraging certain behaviors, like thumbsucking or using pacifiers. If your child plays a sport or grinds their teeth, they may suggest a mouthguard.
Every child’s situation is different. Part of pediatric dentistry is tailoring a treatment plan to each child.
5. How Do You Handle Childhood Cavities?
Cavities are normal, and if your child has one, your dentist is sure to tell you. This is when it’s a good idea to ask what the next steps are.
Many parents think that children with cavities in their baby teeth don’t need to worry. This isn’t true. Cavities can influence the health of your child’s gums, so letting them go unfixed will lead to more problems down the road.
Some dentists who specialize in dentistry for kids offer sedation for cavity treatments, so be sure to talk about safe sedation methods. Your dentist may also have opinions on whether it’s better to pull a tooth or fill it, depending on your child’s situation.
These are all things that you want to know before your child has their cavity taken care of.
6. How Often Should My Child Have an Appointment?
In most situations, dentists like to see their patients twice per year. With that in mind, some dentists may have specific requests depending on your child’s age and current dental health.
Having regular examinations and cleaning appointments is crucial. If your dentist notices that your child’s dental hygiene isn’t ideal, they may suggest having an extra cleaning appointment between normal visits.
Is It Time to See the Pediatric Dentist?
If your child is due for a pediatric dentist appointment, make sure that you have your list of questions on hand. Your child’s dentist is happy to answer anything that you want to know, so try not to feel anxious when you’re heading into the appointment.
If you want to make sure that your child grows up with strong teeth and healthy gums, ask away!
If you’re ready to make your child’s appointment with some of the best pediatric dentists around, we’re here for you. Call us at (502) 699-2571 to schedule an appointment today!