Q: What is a pediatric dentist?
A: A pediatric dentist is a dentist who specializes in treating children ranging in age from infant to teenager. Two to three additional years of training is required to become a pediatric dentist. A pediatric dentist provides preventive and comprehensive dental care to children, and also helps educate parents on how their children can achieve optimal oral health.
Q:When will my child’s first baby tooth appear?
A: Everyone is unique, so it’s impossible to determine the exact day your child’s first tooth will erupt. However, you should expect to see your child’s first tooth any time after the age of 4 to 6 months. Typically, one of the bottom front teeth will appear first. A full set of baby teeth should emerge by the time your child is two or three years old.
Q:When will my child’s baby teeth start to fall out?
A: Most children start to lose their baby teeth between the ages of 5 and 7 years old. Before a tooth falls out, it will become loose – and you will probably notice your child wiggling it. In most cases, the first tooth that emerged when your child was a baby will be the first to loosen and fall out.
Q:What is a dental emergency?
A: It can be difficult for parents to know whether their child is experiencing a minor toothache or if there is a true dental emergency that requires immediate attention. In any case, make sure to call us if your child is in pain, if your child was injured, or if your child was involved in an accident that affected his or her teeth. True dental emergencies generally involve an extreme toothache, or a cut or bitten tongue, lip, or cheek. A dental emergency can also involve a chipped, fractured, or knocked- out baby or permanent tooth, a severe blow to the head, and/or a broken or fractured jaw. In the event of a true emergency, please call 911 immediately or take your child to the nearest emergency room.
Q:Are dental x-rays safe for my child?
A: We recommend dental x-rays every 6 – 12 months. Children who are at high risk of tooth decay might require more frequent x-rays. The modern dental technology and equipment used at Brecksville Kids Dentistry is very safe and exposes children to minimal radiation. We take every precaution, including lead body aprons and shields to protect our patients from any exposure.
Q:At what age should my child visit a dentist for the first time?
A: According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children should visit the dentist for the first time as soon as a tooth appears – or by the age of one. We strive to make your child’s first dental visit enjoyable and fun! It is our goal to create a positive experience that will leave your child looking forward to the next appointment.
Q:How can I break my child’s thumb sucking habit?
A: Some children simply love sucking their thumb! It can be difficult for some children to break a thumb-sucking habit. However, it’s important to break a thumb-sucking routine before permanent teeth begin to emerge. Please discuss your child’s habit with us. We will provide you with tips and tricks that are known to work. In general, positive reinforcement and rewarding your child tends to work better than punishment.
Q:Does my child need braces?
A: Whether or not your child will need braces will become more obvious as your child grows older. When your child visits Brecksville Kids Dentistry every six months for preventive dental care, we will examine your child’s teeth and alert you when we think it’s time to schedule an initial visit to an orthodontist.
Q:What is a Dental Home?
A: A dental home is a dental practice that knows you and your child well, and a place where you feel comfortable. Children who have a dental home are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care. Brecksville Kids Dentistry hopes to be your dental home! We look forward to providing your child with an enjoyable and positive dental visit. And if a dental problem or injury arises, you’ll know exactly who to call.
Q:Does Brecksville Kids Dentistry offer sedation?
A: Yes! We offer various sedation options to our young patients. Upon your request, we will provide your child with nitrous oxide or another safe form of sedation. Please note that we never offer a child sedation without a parent’s consent. Please call us for more information about sedation options – or talk with us next time you’re in the office. Our goal is to provide your child with the most comfortable experience possible. For children with severe dental issues, special needs, or medically compromising conditions, we offer in-hospital general anesthesia for dental procedures. Dr. Hechko is affiliated with Fairview Hospital in Cleveland, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, and Medina Surgery Center for Dentistry in Medina.
Q:What are dental sealants?
A: Dental sealants are a great way to protect your child’s teeth from decay. Applied as a liquid with a special brush, dental sealants harden into a plastic material that coats your child’s molars with a thin layer that helps the teeth resist the development of cavities. Dental sealants are inexpensive, easy to apply, and absolutely painless. Once in place, sealants can last many months – and sometimes years – before they wear down and must be replaced. Brecksville Kids Dentistry highly recommends dental sealants to all patients who are good candidates for this helpful treatment!
Q:Do you recommend fluoride treatments for children?
A: Fluoride is an important element that helps people develop healthy and strong teeth. When teeth are healthy and strong, they are less susceptible to decay. It’s important for children to get the proper amount of fluoride. Too much or too little fluoride can affect the look and health of your child’s teeth. When you are in the office, please ask for a recommendation on the type of toothpaste that your child should use. Also, we typically recommend that young children have in-office fluoride treatments during their preventive checks ups.