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TOP 10 Questions Asked About Children Dentistry

1. When should my child visit the dentist?

It is recommended for children to see the dentist after the eruption of their first baby tooth, which is usually between six to twelve months of age.  The dentist can assess your child’s risk of decay and look for any abnormalities. Early visits also help to familiarize them with the dental environment and establish good rapport with dentists.

First impressions are important, so is your child’s first interaction with a dentist. This is when you can set a good foundation for their dental journey, and show them that dental visits can be fun and enjoyable.

2. I can see a hole in my child’s tooth. What should I do?

I would advise for your child to have a thorough examination by a dentist even if they are not complaining of a toothache. At the check-up, your dentist may recommend to have x-rays done to assess the size of the cavity, check for signs of an infection and development of the adult/permanent tooth.

3. Do baby teeth require fillings since they will be replaced anyway?

Baby teeth play a great role in setting the path for adult teeth to grow into, as well as allow children to chew and eat well. They need to stay healthy in the mouth until the adult teeth replacing them are ready to come into the mouth.

A stitch in time saves nine. Small holes can be filled to protect the tooth and prevent a toothache or an infection.

4. When do adult or permanent teeth first erupt?

For most children, adult teeth start to come through at age 6. The first few teeth that erupt are most commonly the lower front teeth and first molars.

It is a fun time to introduce the tooth fairy and reinforce the importance of good oral hygiene.

5. Why do my child’s adult teeth look yellow?

Permanent teeth tend to look more yellow compared to baby teeth, as the yellow layer (dentine) is thicker.

The other possible reason could the buildup of plaque and tartar around the teeth. These pick up stains and can turn yellow or brown.

6. I can see the new adult tooth growing out, but the baby tooth has not dropped out. Does the baby tooth need to be extracted?

Should you be concerned, a visit to the dentist will help determine if an extraction is necessary.

If the baby tooth is loose and is not causing your child pain, an extraction may not be required. The baby tooth can be allowed to drop on its own.

However if the baby tooth is blocking the adult tooth, an infection is present, or your child is experiencing pain, extraction of the tooth may be advised.

7. There is a gap between my child’s upper adult teeth. Will that gap close?

The gap between the upper front teeth (central incisors) often is not permanent and closes as the adjacent permanent teeth erupt. This phase is often termed as the ugly duckling stage.

If the gap does not close naturally, there are various treatment options available that you can discuss with your dentist.

8. My child knocked his/her tooth. What should I do?

Dental trauma should not be taken lightly. A timely visit to the dentist should be arranged for a thorough check-up.

If a tooth is completely knocked out, retrieve the tooth if possible and place it in a container with milk. Time is of the essence; seek treatment with a dentist immediately.

If only part of the tooth is chipped, retrieve the tooth fragment if possible. Likewise seek dental treatment at the earliest opportunity.

9. What should I do if my child complains of a toothache?

Make an appointment to see a dentist as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can get him/her to use warm salt rinse and place a cold compress against the cheek.

A toothache could be due to:

  • An adult tooth coming out
  • Tooth decay
  • A broken tooth
  • Loose fillings
  • Food stuck in between teeth

10. Why is my regular family dentist recommending my child to see a Paedodontist/Paediatric Dentist?

Your family dentist may recommend for your child to see a Paediatric Dentist if they have complex oral health problems or find it difficult to cope in the dental chair. A Paedodontist is a dentist with specialist training in the care for children.  They are experts in providing dental treatment for kids, with specialized equipment dedicated to children in their clinics.