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Frequently Asked Questions

At what age should I bring my child to the dentist for the first check-up?

Your child should be seen by a pediatric dentist when the first tooth erupts, usually between 6 to 12 months, or no later than his/her first birthday.

Why should I bring my child to a pediatric dentist rather than a family dentist?

Like pediatrician, pediatric dentist are trained to care for children. A pediatric dentist has additional two to three years of extensive specialty training. Pediatric dentists specialize in oral health care for infants, children and teens, which also include kids with special needs.

How should I clean my baby’s teeth?

You can use any small, soft-bristled tooth brush to clean your baby’s teeth. A toothbrush should be used at least twice a day, once in the morning and once a night so it can remove plaque that lead to decays.

How important are baby teeth?

“Baby” teeth or primary teeth guide the eruption of the permanent teeth. They are important because they help children with their chewing, speaking and smiling.

If my child has a toothache, what should I do?

First of all, rinse the affected area with warm salt water. If the face is swollen, use a cold towel and place it on the face where the affected area is. You can use Tylenol over the counter for pain, and please see a dentist as soon as possible.

What happens if my child is thumb sucking and using a pacifier?

If your child sucks on their thumb or use a pacifier past the age of three, a mouth appliance may be recommended. Thumb sucking and pacifiers sucking are generally not bad habits, but if it continues past age three it can affect the growth of baby’s teeth. It is recommended to have these habits stop as soon as possible.

I am still nursing, so what can I do to prevent decay?

Children should not have anything but water in their bed-time bottle. Please brush your baby’s teeth or use a wet cloth to cleanse your baby’s gums after milk. Your baby’s first dental visit should be scheduled by your child’s first birthday.

Should I start using toothpaste, and how much should we use?

You can start cleaning your child’s gum with a wet cloth, even before baby’s first tooth appears. When a tooth appears, you can use a smear of toothpaste for a child less than 2 years of age, preferably training toothpaste. When your child can spit, use can use a pea size of fluoridated toothpaste with any soft toothbrush. Children can not brush their teeth effectively, so let them brush first and help them afterwards. Make sure they do not swallow the toothpaste.

What are dental sealants?

Sealants are thin layers of resin that are placed on the pits, fissures and grooves of molars to prevent decay. Sealants are one of the most effective methods of preventing decay.

What is a mouth guard?

Mouth guard is used to protect your child’s teeth during sporting events. They are made of soft plastic appliances that shape themselves to the upper teeth and are important sports equipment. Not only do they protect the teeth but they also protect the lips, cheeks and tongue and can protect your child from serious head injuries such as concussions and jaw fractures. There are various types of mouth guard, and they are custom fitted by your pediatric dentist.

Are dental x rays safe?

Our office use digital x rays which generates 85% less radiation that conventional film. We also use lead apron when taking x rays. There are minimal risks in taking dental x- rays.

Contact us if you have a question and you live in or around Irvine .

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Irvine Pediatric Dentist - Patrick W. Lee, DDS
2500 Alton Parkway, #206, Irvine, CA 92606
ph: 949.833.7888 - fax: 949.833.7887

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