frequently asked questions

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General
Emergency Dentistry
Dental Hygiene
Fluoride Treatment
Mouth Guards
Dental Fillings
Dental Sealants
Braces
Clear Aligners

General Dentistry FAQs

 

Browse our frequently asked questions, or give us a call at 530-666-5437.

 
 

Your child should see a pediatric dentist within six months of the first tooth appearing, or no later than his or her first birthday. While this may seem early, dental exams are important to identify any potential problems as soon as possible. Issues may include cavities as well as a variety of other oral health disorders in the teeth, mouth or gums. Catching these problems early will help prevent them from becoming worse and more difficult to treat in the future.

Pediatric dentists, also called pedodontists, are the pediatricians of dentistry. As such, they specialize in diagnosing and treating the unique oral health concerns of infants, children and adolescents. In addition to their special treatment knowledge, pediatric dentists are skilled in making dental visits comfortable for patients who find it difficult to sit still or cooperate.

Pediatric dentists receive two to three years of specialty training after completing their dental degree. Once they complete their training and certification, they serve as primary and specialty oral care providers for young patients, including those with special health needs.

Primary or "baby" teeth are essential for your child's development for a variety of reasons. Baby teeth help your child eat solid foods and learn healthy chewing habits, which also affect the development of their jaw and facial muscles. Teeth also have a big impact on the way we speak, so primary teeth help children learn to speak properly. 

Another reason baby teeth are important is that they help form a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt. If your child loses a primary tooth earlier than normal, whether through damage or disease, it’s important to maintain the space that it would have occupied. Doing so allows the permanent tooth below it to have room to emerge. In such a case, your pediatric dentist may recommend using a space maintainer to prevent overcrowded or crooked permanent teeth.

Before your baby has teeth, you can clean his or her gums by using a soft cloth or your finger to gently wipe away any bacteria. This will help keep your baby's gums healthy and clean.

Once your baby starts getting teeth, it is important to start maintaining them immediately to prevent tooth decay and other potential oral health issues. Use a child-sized toothbrush with soft bristles to gently brush your baby's teeth. You can do this once or twice a day, especially after the last meal to avoid food remaining in your child's mouth overnight. If you use toothpaste, only use a tiny amount, about the size of a grain of rice, and try to angle your child's head downward so that the toothpaste can dribble out into a sink or washcloth.

Thumb and pacifier sucking habits will generally only become a problem if they go on for a very long time. Active and persistent sucking can create pressure on the teeth, jaw and roof of the mouth, but most children stop these habits on their own before their permanent teeth come in. 

 

However, if your child continues to suck his or her thumbs or fingers past the age of three, the pressure can affect the alignment of permanent teeth and the shape of the jaw, causing bite problems. In such a case, your pediatric dentist may recommend a mouth appliance to prevent problems from developing later on.

Once your baby's teeth have begun to come in, they become at risk of cavities. Unswallowed milk that remains in a baby's mouth for long periods of time can do damage to the teeth. To avoid tooth decay, avoid situations where your child falls asleep with milk in his or her mouth. Remove your child from the breast before they fall asleep and only fill bedtime bottles with water. Take your child to a pediatric dentist regularly to have his or her teeth and gums checked. The first dental visit should be scheduled by your child's first birthday.

Early detection and treatment are critical for preventing cavities and other dental problems from developing and becoming worse. You should take your child in for a check-up every six months, starting at least by the age of 1. However, every baby's needs are different. Your dentist can tell you when and how often your child should visit based on his or her personal oral health.

Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning within six months of the eruption of the first tooth or no later than the age of 1. Pediatric dentists can identify any new or potential oral health issues during each visit. They can also provide a variety of treatments to help prevent future tooth decay, such as fluoride treatment and sealant. 

 

Then, the dentist can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other activities for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet, can help prevent potential problems from developing and give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.

The fee for an individual’s treatment is determined by a variety of factors, including the severity of the problem to be corrected, the anticipated length of treatment, and the type of orthodontic treatment used. Please talk with your orthodontist about the types of treatment that you are interested in so that together you can decide what is appropriate and will fit your family’s budget.

If you have dental insurance that includes orthodontic benefits, check with the insurance company or your employer’s HR department to learn about the details of the coverage available to you.  

 

Coverage may be for a percentage of the fee or be capped at a specific dollar amount, called a "lifetime cap." Make sure to check who your policy covers, as it may be for you, or you and your spouse, or you and your spouse and your children, etc. Some insurance coverage has an age limit, so make sure your child has not aged out of coverage from your plan. Some types of insurance require you to choose from the insurance company's preferred providers. 

 

We accept plans from most major insurance carriers. See the Insurance page for a partial list of accepted carriers or contact us to see if we accept your plan.

No. Insurance is not required to have orthodontic treatment. Smile Generation-trusted offices have alternative payment options to help you take care of your family’s oral health, including a discount dental plan and flexible financing. See the Payment Options page for more information.

There is no ideal age for when to start braces or other orthodontic treatment. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, so some orthodontic treatments can begin while your child still has his or her primary (baby) teeth. This treatment is called interceptive or preventative treatment. Your child can also begin orthodontic treatment when most of his or her permanent teeth have grown in. It is generally a good idea to take your child in for an initial orthodontic exam by the age of 7. Once you have established your child's orthodontic needs, you can talk to your orthodontist about which treatments will work best.

The average length of orthodontic treatment is 22 months, according to a 2014 survey among members of the American Association of Orthodontists. Every mouth is different, however. Your child's treatment may vary based on the severity of their condition, the type of orthodontic treatment used, and a number of other factors.

It may be possible to have successful orthodontic treatment if some teeth are missing, depending on your child's circumstances and treatment goals. Orthodontic treatment may be able to close the space of a missing tooth or be able to create or save sufficient space for a replacement tooth. Consult your orthodontist to discuss what is right for your child.

Dental Emergency FAQs

 

Whether it’s a severe toothache or dental trauma, our emergency dental services are designed to provide immediate attention to alleviate pain and prevent further complications.

 
 

The most common dental emergency is a toothache. A toothache can be caused by a variety of factors such as tooth decay, a cracked or broken tooth, infection, or gum disease. Other common dental emergencies include a lost filling or crown, a broken or chipped tooth, and a knocked-out tooth.

We offer same-day appointments and extended hours to ensure that you receive timely care. Call our office and our answering service will direct you to the appropriate care.

Dental emergencies can be prevented by maintaining good oral hygiene, wearing a mouthguard during contact sports, and avoiding hard and sticky foods.

If a permanent tooth is knocked out, rinse it with water and reposition the tooth in the socket immediately before seeing a dentist. If that’s not possible, keep the tooth moist at all times either in your mouth or put it in milk bring it to our office immediately.

Generally, most dental insurance plans cover emergency dental services. Our team will work with you to ensure you receive the care you need with the proper coverage.

Dental Cleanings FAQs

 

If you have any questions about dental cleaning for your little one, we’re here to help.

 
 

There are three main steps for a teeth cleaning: teeth examination, plaque and tartar removal, and teeth polishing.

Most people should have teeth cleaning appointments every six months, but your dentist may recommend more frequent appointments depending on your oral health.

No, teeth cleaning should not be painful. Our dental professionals use safe and pain-free techniques to ensure that your teeth cleaning appointment is a comfortable experience.

Yes, teeth cleaning can help prevent cavities by removing plaque and tartar from your teeth.

Fluoride Treatment FAQs

 

If you have any questions about fluoride treatment for your little one, we’re here to help.

 
 

During a fluoride treatment, a dental professional will apply a fluoride gel, foam, or varnish to your teeth with a brush, swab, or tray. The treatment is painless and only takes a few minutes.

Yes, fluoride treatment is safe when applied in the appropriate amount. Our dental professionals are trained to apply fluoride treatment safely and effectively.

The frequency of fluoride treatment depends on your individual needs and risk factors. Our dental professionals will evaluate your oral health and recommend the appropriate frequency of fluoride treatment.

Many dental insurance plans cover fluoride treatment. Our team will work with you to determine your coverage and help maximize your benefits.

No, fluoride treatment is beneficial for people of all ages and is especially important for individuals who are at higher risk of developing tooth decay.

Mouth Guards FAQs

 

If you have any questions about mouth guards for your little one, we’re here to help.

 
 

The cost of a mouth guard depends on the type and level of customization required. At My Kid's Dentist & Orthodontics, we offer affordable prices for high-quality, personalized mouth guards.

Although boil-and-bite mouth guards are readily available, they do not offer the same level of protection and customization as professionally fitted mouth guards. We recommend using a custom mouth guard from our dental office for maximum protection and comfort.

Mouth guards can wear out or get damaged over time. It's important to replace them every one to two years, or sooner if they show signs of wear or damage.

Yes, children can use mouth guards for protection during sports activities. We offer customized mouth guards for children that are designed to fit their smaller mouths.

It takes approximately one to two weeks to create a custom mouth guard. However, we offer emergency services for dental injuries that require immediate attention.

Cavity Fillings FAQs

 

If you have any questions about cavity fillings for your little one, we’re here to help.

 
 

Cavity fillings are made of single or combinations of materials including composite resin, porcelain, gold, and silver amalgam.

It is common for fillings to cause little to no discomfort. The dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area before beginning the procedure.

The lifespan of cavity filling depends on the material used and maintenance. With proper care, cavity fillings can last from 5 to 15 years.

Yes, you can eat and drink normally after a cavity filling. The general rule of thumb is to avoid hot or cold food and drinks immediately after.

While rare, some people may experience sensitivity, pain, or an allergic reaction to the materials used in cavity fillings.

Dental Sealants FAQs

 

If you have any questions about dental sealants for your little one, we’re here to help.

 
 

Dental sealants can last up to 10 years with proper care and maintenance.

No, getting dental sealants is a painless and non-invasive procedure.

First, the teeth are cleaned and dried. Then, a special gel is applied to the teeth to help the sealant bond to the tooth surface. Finally, the sealant is applied and hardened with a special light.

No, dental sealants are a safe and effective way to protect your teeth from decay.

No, you can care for your dental sealants just like you care for your natural teeth. Just make sure to brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist for regular checkups.

Braces FAQs

 

If you have any questions about braces for your little one, we’re here to help.

 
 

The length of treatment depends on the severity of the dental misalignment, but most patients wear braces for one to three years. 

There may be some initial discomfort as your mouth adjusts to the braces, but most patients find that the discomfort fades quickly.

Patients typically visit the orthodontist every 4-6 weeks to have their braces adjusted.

Yes, but we recommend wearing a mouthguard to protect your teeth and braces during physical activity.

Patients should avoid hard, sticky, and chewy foods that can damage the braces or get stuck in them, such as popcorn, caramel, and gum.

Clear Aligners FAQs

 

If you have any questions about clear aligners for your little one, we’re here to help.

 
 

Clear aligner treatment duration varies depending upon your needs, but most treatments take around 12-18 months.

Clear aligners are designed for comfort, and you can easily remove them for eating and brushing.

Yes, you remove clear aligners when you eat, so you can still enjoy all your favorite foods.

 

Clear aligners may take some getting used to, but most people find that their speech is not significantly affected.

 

You typically visit the dentist every six to eight weeks during clear aligners treatment to check your progress and receive new aligners.