Pediatric Dental FAQs

Canton Pediatric Dentistry, PLLC from reliable sources, compiled the following information. It is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for regular dental/medical visits and or regular dental/medical routine preventive care. The information does not cover everything related to the topics addressed and may not apply to all individuals.

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

A soft-bristled toothbrush will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay. The toothbrush should be designed specifically for infants and should be used at bedtime and in the morning, daily. Water, or a swipe of non-fluoride toothpaste, can be used.

When should I take my child to the dentist for the first check-up?

The first check-up should occur when the first tooth erupts or by the first birthday. Dr. Warren Brill, President of the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, stated in his March 2014 interview with USA Today, “We’re reaching epidemic proportions of a rapid form of tooth decay especially in younger children….”

He advocates visiting the dentist early to establish a dental home and learn healthy practices, which promote proper oral health and hygiene. Taking care of a child’s oral health is an essential part of overall health.

Why a pediatric dentist?

Pediatric dentists have training beyond their four years of dental school. Dr. Sam Malcheff, in particular, had 2 ½ additional years of training and received his Master of Science in pediatric dentistry at University of Michigan and Mott Children’s Health Center. He’s treated numerous children with various health care and special needs during his specialty training and in private practice. This special training gives Dr. Malcheff the confidence to work with children in a calm manner while knowledgeably attending to their specific dental needs.

Are baby teeth really important to my child?

Primary, or “baby” teeth are vital for many reasons: they help children speak clearly, chew naturally, and form a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt. They are also the cornerstones of a bright smile!

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

These habits will generally only become a problem if they continue for a very long period of time. Thumb sucking and pacifier habits typically stop on their own. If they persist, when the permanent teeth arrive, there are multiple strategies that can be discussed to assist in helping stop the habit.

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

Every six months, a check-up is recommended in order to clean and examine the current condition of teeth and gums as well as reinforce good oral hygiene and dietary habits. Regular check-ups also give us the opportunity to develop a good rapport in a non-invasive setting.

When should toothpaste be introduced?

Fluoridated toothpaste should be introduced when a child is 2 to 3 years of age. Prior to that, parents should clean teeth with water/training toothpaste on a soft bristled toothbrush. After age 2 or 3, parents should supervise brushing and make sure there is no more than a pea-sized smear on the brush. Excess toothpaste should be spit out (not swallowed) after brushing. (We will provide a picture of this.)

How do dental sealants work?

Sealants fill in the crevices on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. Food particles that could otherwise get caught in the teeth are shut out, which lessens the occurrence of cavities. Application is generally fast, comfortable, and can effectively protect teeth for many years.

How safe are dental X-rays?

Dental radiographs (X-rays) pose minimal risk because Canton Pediatric Dentistry is careful to limit the amount of radiation to which children are exposed. We use leaded aprons and high-speed film to minimize the amount of radiation.

How can parents help prevent tooth decay?

Regular dental visits, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth, dental education (a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments), and a balanced diet, will enable a lifetime of healthy habits.

How are appointments scheduled?

Canton Pediatric Dentistry attempts to schedule appointments at your convenience and when time is available.

Preschool/elementary children should be seen in the morning because the kids are more alert. This helps us to work with them in keeping them comfortable.

Appointed times are reserved exclusively for each patient, so we ask that you please notify our office 24 hours in advance of your scheduled appointment time if you are unable to keep your appointment. This allows us to offer the appointment to other patients, who also need our care, which can be scheduled if we have sufficient time to notify them.

We realize that unexpected things do happen; however, we ask for your assistance in this regard.

May I stay with my child during his or her visit?

Canton Pediatric Dentistry invites you to stay with your youngster during all appointments, if you like. In some instances, we may be able to establish a closer rapport with your child when you are not present. Our purpose is to gain your child’s confidence and overcome apprehension.

What can I do to protect my child’s teeth during sporting events?

Use of soft plastic mouthguards to protect an athlete’s teeth, lips, cheeks, and gums could reduce sports-related injuries. Canton Pediatric Dentistry can develop a custom-fitted mouthguard to protect your son or daughter from injuries to the teeth and face.

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