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What is the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

Pediatric dentists are the pediatricians of dentistry or baby teeth specialists. A pediatric dentist has two to three years specialty training following dental school and limits his/her practice to treating children only. Pediatric dentists are specialty oral care providers for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health needs. A pediatric dentist monitors the growth and development of teeth and the head/neck for kids birth through age 18.

When should my child have their first dental visit?

In order to prevent dental problems, your child should see Dr. Lee when the first tooth appears or no later than his/her first birthday. It is important to set up a “dental home” or place to go in times of trauma or pain, but also a fun place to visit every 6 months for regular checkups.

How often does my child need to see the pediatric dentist?

A check-up every six months is recommended in order prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, Dr. Lee can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on his/her personal oral health.

Are baby teeth really that important to my child?

Primary, or “baby,” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in saving space, or “saving the seat” if you will, for the incoming permanent teeth. Baby molars do not fall out until a child is 12-15 years old.

Do you have any tips for getting a toddler to brush their teeth?

  • Singing a song while brushing their teeth
  • Letting them play with the toothbrush in order to get used to it in their mouth
  • If you are brushing your child’s teeth have them lie on a couch or the floor with their head in your lap
  • Incorporate it into your morning and night time routines
  • Brush your teeth together
  • Use a favorite stuffed animal to “model” brushing, or even have the stuffed animal be the one to hold the toothbrush

How many times a day should you brush your teeth?

At least twice a day with the most important time being at night before bed to remove all the food that has accumulated throughout the day. It is important not to eat or drink anything other than water after the nighttime tooth brushing.

What should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?

A toothbrush will remove plaque that can lead to decay. Any soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head, preferably one designed specifically for infants, should be used at least once a day at bedtime according to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Some kids like toothbrushes that are battery operated or electric. But really any tooth brush that is used to remove food is good.

Toothpaste: when should we begin using it and how much should we use?

The sooner the better! Starting at birth, clean your child’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or cloth and water. As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using non-fluoridated toothpaste or just water and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. For the 2-5 year old, dispense a “pea-size” amount of toothpaste and perform or assist your child’s toothbrushing. Remember that young children do not have the ability to brush their teeth effectively. Often kids need supervision until they are 7 years old. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing which usually they are able to do around age 3.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that is found in tap water, toothpaste, and mouthwash. It is important for developing teeth because it gets taken up by enamel and makes the teeth more resistant to decay. It is especially important for kids who are on high sugar diets, have a difficult time maintaining good oral hygiene, wear braces, or have a history of getting many cavities. Fluoride toothpaste should typically not be used until the child can actively spit it out in the sink.

How often should I change my toothbrush?

Adults and children should change their toothbrush every 3 months because they become worn out and are not as effective as they once were. Exceptions to this would be if you were using an electric toothbrush, and the manufacturer states otherwise. Some electric rechargeable toothbrushes have very good brush heads that only need to be changed every 6 months. If you have gum disease, you should change your toothbrush every 4 – 6 weeks because bacteria can harbor in the bristles. You should always rinse your toothbrush out with hot water after every use and change it after you have been sick. (

What should I do if my child has a toothache?

First, rinse the irritated area with warm salt water and place a cold compress on the face if it is swollen. Give your child ibuprofen to bring down swelling and reduce pain and call Glendora Dental Arts at 909-592-1432 to schedule an emergency visit.

Are thumb sucking and pacifier habits harmful for a child’s teeth?

Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long period of time. Most children stop these habits on their own, but if they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers past the age of three, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist. (

When will my child have teeth come in and fall out?

The average age for the first tooth to erupt in infants is 6 months. This tooth is the lower central incisor. Your child should have 20 primary (baby) teeth by 2 ½ to 3 years of age. The first permanent molars, or 6 year molars, come in around the age of 6 and they erupt behind all of the primary teeth and do not replace any other teeth. Your child should lose their first tooth around the age of 6-7 years. The average age for a child to lose their last baby tooth is 12 years of age.

Does it hurt to lose a tooth?

It doesn’t have to hurt. Usually it hurts if you try to get your tooth to fall out before it is ready. Sometimes the dentist has to pull your baby tooth out so the adult tooth can grow in. Kids are sometimes scared that this will hurt, but Dr. Lee will do a great job to make sure that it doesn’t hurt. The strange feeling you feel when your tooth falls out can sometimes be scary, but it is natural.

Why are x-rays taken?

Xrays are taken periodically at the regular exams to make sure that cavities are not forming in between the teeth where they may not be visible. Also, x-rays enable Dr. Lee to assess the growth and eruption of the incoming permanent teeth so he can recommend a visit to an orthodontist if necessary.

What are dental sealants?

Dental sealants are a thin, white-colored BPA free coating that is painted onto the chewing surface of molars in order to make it more difficult for food to stick and then cavities to form. They are way to prevent cavities.

Does Glendora Dental Arts use amalgam, or silver fillings?

We are a mercury free office! We do not use amalgam, rather we use white filling material that is biocompatible and has much better esthetics than the older silver filling material does.

If my child has cavities, what can I expect?

Every child is different in what they will tolerate in the mouth. For that reason, Dr. Lee feels that it is important to offer parents and their children options for managing anxiety. Glendora Dental Arts offers nitrous oxide, or “happy gas”, which is a safe gas that is breathed through a flavored nose, or mask. If the child is breathing in and out through the nose during treatment, the gas will enable the child to relax while still being able to respond and be alert and not sedated for treatment. For children who are younger, have more cavities, or have special needs that make it more difficult for them to be able to sit in the chair and tolerate all of the different sensations in the mouth, Dr. Lee brings a trained and licensed anesthesiologist to administer medications to safely make a child “sleep” for the dental procedure (general anesthesia). Most often, all work including x-rays can be accomplished in this one visit. There are medications that can be given orally as a drink to sedate a child but they are often less predictable in effectiveness than general anesthesia.

Am I allowed in the back office for my child’s visit?

Parents are always welcome to be present during their child’s visit whether it be for first visit, checkup, or fillings. Dr. Lee does ask that for treatment visits, if a parent chooses to stay in the room they allow him to form a relationship and communication he needs to get the cooperation she needs from the patient. Most often, children do better at direction following when only one person is giving instructions. So, as a parent, you will be an active team member in your child’s care by being a strong and positive influence for your child just by being present and showing that you are “ok.” Remember your child is looking to you for support and reassurance to make them “ok.

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