At what age should my child visit the dentist?

We, as well as The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Dental Association, recommend that a visit to the dentist should be scheduled by the child's first birthday. By seeing children at an early age problems can be detected, treated early, or avoided completely. More importantly, it can help establish a positive relationship between your child and the dentist.

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

A pediatric dentist is essentially the pediatrician of dentistry. After completing four years of dental school, a pediatric dentist has an additional two years of training that prepares them to meet the needs of infants, children, adolescents and patients with special health care needs. 

What Will Happen During My Child’s First Visit?

Dr. Raj will introduce your child to the office and the world of dentistry.  He will take his time and show your child exactly what he will do before he does it.  Nothing will be a surprise - beginning with a complete comprehensive examination of your child’s teeth and mouth, Dr Raj will examine for decay and any other abnormalities that may be present. He will also evaluate the growth and development of your child's jaw, while considering spacing, alignment, and occlusion (bite) of their permanent teeth.  X-Rays may be taken to evaluate those areas that cannot be seen clinically, and to evaluate the development of your child’s growing teeth. A preventative dental cleaning, along with a fluoride treatment will also be completed.  Dr. Raj will further go over home care instructions, advising you on a daily program of preventative health, which includes brushing, flossing, the use of fluoride, and adequate nutrition. 

Do I Stay With My Child During the Visit?

During the initial examination, we welcome you to stay with your child if you would like. At future appointments we suggest you allow your child to accompany our team members through the dental experience. We ask this because it allows us to establish a closer rapport with your child when you are not present and helps us to gain their trust. This helps your child build confidence and overcome any apprehension they might have.  If your child exhibits some nervousness, do not worry, as separation anxiety is not uncommon and will diminish. Studies and experience have shown that children over the age of 3 react more positively when permitted to experience a dental visit on their own.

We are specially trained and experienced to help apprehensive young patients feel good about seeing the dentist and to make every visit an enjoyable one! Dr. Raj welcomes parents to come back once treatment is started to check in on their child and get a thumbs up! If for any reason you feel the need to accompany your child through future dental appointments, Dr. Raj is happy to discuss this with you and answer any questions and concerns you might have. 

Can I be with my child during the sedation appointment?

During sedation appointments, parents are NOT allowed to be back with the child.  Similar to a hospital that does not allow family into the operating room during surgery, only having the child in the back while deeply sedated allows us to fully concentrate on them and provide the safest care possible. Feel free to discuss with Dr. Raj any concerns you may have and options that are available.

Do I really need to floss my child's teeth?

YES and NO. Generally, if there is spacing between your child’s teeth, brushing will clean those areas between them. However, once the spacing has closed, flossing regularly is recommended. Often, an adult may have to floss, as children just do not have the dexterity to do so.

Why are baby teeth important?

Aren’t they just baby teeth? Well that is true, but they are as important as permanent teeth. Children need their primary teeth for the same reasons we need our adult teeth - they are essential for proper chewing, eating, and speaking. They also hold the space for permanent teeth and help to guide them into a proper position. In addition, they permit normal development of jaw bones and muscles. Decay in baby teeth can cause pain along with damage to the permanent teeth leading to problems with spacing in your child’s mouth. Moreover, this decay can lead to infections, which can affect breathing and even worse, neurological development.

What are sealants?

Sealants are a tooth-colored material that is placed in the pits and grooves of the teeth.  Acting as a protective measure, they help to prevent cavities from forming.  

How do I prevent cavities?

Brushing twice a day and flossing regularly can help prevent cavities. Have your child stay away from juice unless it is at meal times. Between meals, stick with water. Sipping on juice or soda and snacking throughout the day causes a constant amount of sugar on your teeth, which eventually will cause decay.

Can Thumb-Sucking Be Bad For My Child’s Teeth?

Thumb and pacifier sucking habits that go on for a long period of time can create crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems. Most children stop these habits on their own.

How safe are dental X-rays?

At Sea of Smiles, we evaluate and assess each child for their individual risk and only take x-rays when they are indicated based on cavity risk, inability to clinically view certain sides of the teeth, growth, and development or pathology.  Dr. Raj does everything in his power to safeguard your child’s safety and utilizes digital radiographs to greatly reduce the amount of exposure your child recieves.  

What Happens When My Child Is Sick?

If your child is ill, please call our office as soon as possible to reschedule. Children who are scheduled to be seen for a sedation cannot be treated when they are ill. 

Emergencies happen, however missed appointments disrupt the schedule and take valuable treatment time away from other children who are waiting to be seen. Please be considerate of others and provide at least 24 hours notice when rescheduling or cancelling.